Pre-Trial Hearings - Indiana Criminal Litigation Process
After charges are filed by the State, cases are generally set for Pre-trial conferences or hearings. These hearings are an important step in a criminal case. They allow an opportunity for the Defense lawyer to negotiate directly with the Prosecutor and his, or her, deputy regarding the case. Plea negotiations are discussed and important issues such as alibis, and motions to suppress or dismiss, are addressed.
Pre-trials also are an opportunity to address issues with the court and to schedule further hearings, if necessary. The State, through its Prosecuting Attorney, and the Defense lawyer also must participate in the discovery process. This process requires the parties to exchange important information, such as the names of witnesses and the details of evidence which is to be presented at trial. Having an experienced attorney on his or her side during any pre-trial hearings and throughout the Discovery process will help to ensure that the Defendant's rights are protected and that he or she is receiving all of the important material, not just the material the prosecutor initially discloses.