Massachusetts Criminal Pre-Trial Conference / Hearing
A pre-trial conference is a meeting with the district attorney about the charges against you. It is often the first court date after your arraignment. The prosecutor will typically offer you a deal to plead guilty (or possibly agree to a continuance without a finding in the case of many first offense misdemeanor charges).
At that point, you will decide with your attorney’s advice whether to accept the plea bargain or move forward with a trial.
Also at a pretrial conference, motions such as a motion to suppress the evidence against you may be entered for a future motion hearing court date.
A pre-trial can be the first official on the record opportunity to learn about the prosecution’s case against you, what kind of evidence they have and might intend to use in a trial. You and your attorney will also get an opportunity to find out what the prosecutor is looking for in terms of working out a deal to avoid trial.
The vast majority of criminal cases are worked out in a pretrial conference, and if a plea agreement is acceptable, heard in front of a judge in a pretrial hearing.
If you are charged with a criminal offense in Massachusetts and have an upcoming pre-trial hearing or pre-trial conference, call me for information on what you need to know, and how an attorney can help.