Often times in a misdemeanor case, the first status conference takes place soon after the arraignment. In a misdemeanor case, the status conference is often called by varying names depending on the courtroom. It can be called a conference, jury trial sounding docket, sounding docket, preliminary hearing conference, or status conference.
The conference is informal. There is often a lot of discussion between the prosecution and the defense attorney. However, you must be there. If you fail to attend the hearing, the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest.
What Happens At The Status Conference?
By the time of the status conference, your Okmulgee misdemeanor attorney has usually obtained discovery from the prosecution and has had an opportunity to review it. The status conference is the first opportunity for your criminal defense attorney and the prosecution to talk about your case. Both sides can lay out their case. Sometimes, deals can be worked out.
This can be an important conference. The prosecution will have studied the case by this time and may make a plea bargain offer at this time. Many criminal cases are resolved this way.
If the prosecution makes an offer, you and your attorney will have the opportunity to discuss the offer and make a decision regarding whether to accept it.
If you accept the plea bargain, you forfeit your right to a jury trial and a separate date will usually be set for you to plead to the charges set in the plea bargain.
There can be pluses and minuses to accepting a plea bargain this early in the proceedings. Often, even though some discovery has been exchanged, the prosecution may withhold what is known as exculpatory evidence from discovery. Exculpatory evidence is that evidence which tends to negate the defendant’s guilt.
Can A Status Conference Be Continued?
Status conferences are often continued for a variety of reasons. This can allow a defendant more time to figure out the prosecution’s weak points. However, judges like to move the cases along and may have limited patience with endlessly continuing a status conference.
Still, there are valid reasons to continue these conferences at times. Besides giving the defense time to ascertain the prosecution’s weak points, it allows the defense time to build their case. This may involve talking to witnesses, researching case law, or conducting other investigation.
Judges vary regarding their attitude toward continuances. Your Okmulgee criminal defense attorney will have experience with this judge and will know how to work effectively with the judge.
Each case is different, and each judge is different. That is why it is important to work with an Okmulgee attorney experienced with that particular courtroom and that particular judge.
Free Consultation With An Okmulgee Lawyer
Call 918-756-9600 now for a free consultation with a qualified Okmulgee attorney at Wirth Law Office – Okmulgee.
Or, enter your legal question or concern in the firm at the top right of this page, and one of our attorneys will email or call you.