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Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7280
Experience:  I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
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i am confused as to what a pre trial disposition and reset

Resolved Question:

i am confused as to what a pre trial disposition and reset is or actually means. i am also confused as to how a person can go from pre trial disposition and reset to a preliminary hearing back to a pre trial disposition and reset and then be scheduled for a pre trial disposition and reset again. what is going on? btw...this is in Orange County CA. i am trying to keep track of all this over the internet...i am in Indiana, and i think i am just anxious for the verdict. also is it likely that if a person has a lengthy criminal record in one state that the state in which they are going to trial in at the moment knows about it? and would/could it make a difference in the outcome?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 8 years ago.

These preliminary court dates can be confusing but they are hugely procedural and should not cause you any concern.


If you are the defendant, your attorney should keep you updated on what is going on. If you are NOT the defendant, but perhaps a witness or victim, the prosecutor's office should keep you updated on what is going on. Even if you are not involved with the case, the facts are public record. You stated you have been utilizing the internet to stay current, you could also contact the clerk of court or the prosecutor, if you get a helpful person on the phone, they would likely be happy to assist you. To help ease your mind, this going back and forth with types of court appearances is completely normal.


If you watch any crime shows, you've probably heard the terms "NCIC/FCIC". This refers to a national criminal database and it is utilized by prosecutors all across the country. I am a former prosecutor and I used to get a background check on EVERY case that came in. As you might imagine, part of sentencing is the person's criminal history. I can assure you that the prosecutor has the defendant's complete criminal history.



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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
i understand what you are saying about going back and forth. so perhaps i should have also asked- what is the difference between a pre trial disposition and reset and a preliminary hearing?
Expert:  Joseph replied 8 years ago.

Every county in every state utilizes a slightly different system so I have to base my answer on my experiences in a variety of state and federal courts.


I'll take them in what is likely there chronological order....


A preliminary hearing is likely very procedural in nature and is probably used to address basic issues such as setting a bond, arraigning the defendant on the charges and appointing a public defender, if appropriate.


Pre-trial disposition is essentially a status hearing where the judge simply wants to know if the case is 1) a plea 2) a trial or 3) needing to be continued to another date.


If the case is continued, it is "reset" and begins the cycle back to a pre-trial disposition docket.

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