The Pre-Trial Conference takes place 30-45 days after your Arraignment. It is not the actual trial, but you will be in a courtroom in front of a judge. It is an important part of the trial proceedings because at the Pre-Trial Conference the judge will give you your trial date. Also, you will talk with the prosecutor about the case the State has against you.
At the Pre-Trial Conference, the prosecutor will most likely give you another opportunity to accept a plea offer. The offer may be the same as the one you were offered at your Arraignment, or it may be a new offer entirely. The new offer may be better than the original offer, or it may be worse.
If you want to accept the prosecutor’s plea offer at the Pre-Trial Conference, you may change your plea from "not guilty" to "guilty." By changing your plea to "guilty," you give up the right to a trial and the right to an appeal. The judge will tell you how to complete your sentence and excuse you. Your day in court will end at that time.
On the other hand, if you do not want to accept the prosecutor’s plea offer but still want to go to trial to fight the charges brought against you, the judge will set a date for your trial.
If you decide to go on with the trial, you will have to fill out a form, along with the prosecutor, called the "Pretrial Statement."
On the Pretrial Statement, you will be required to list the full names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all the witnesses you intend to have testify at your trial. If you do not include the name of a witness on the Pretrial Statement, that witness will not be allowed to testify at your trial. Also, if you intend to introduce any physical evidence at trial, such as photographs or documents, you must list each piece on the Pretrial Statement form.
The prosecutor is required to give the same information about the State’s case. Be sure to get a copy of all the State’s evidence listed by the prosecutor on the Pretrial Statement. You have a right to see all of the State’s evidence and a right to interview the witnesses prior to the trial.
After the Pre-Trial Conference, you should go to the Prosecutor’s Office on the 5th floor of the Tucson City Court building and request copies of all the documents, such as the police report, that the prosecutor plans to use at the trial. There is a charge for each page copied.
- DO get copies of the State's evidence against you.
- DO bring the names and addresses of all of the witnesses you want to bring to your trial.
- DON'T bring your witness to the pretrial conference.