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Courtroom Definitions

Felony

Arraignment

An arraignment is a formal reading of a criminal charging document in the presence of the defendant to inform the defendant of the charges against him or her. The court ensures that a defendant is represented by an attorney. Generally, the court will not appoint an attorney if the person has made bond. In response to arraignment, the accused is expected to enter a plea of not guilty. The conclusion of the arraignment will set the case on a preliminary hearing conference docket. Victims/witnesses do not need to be present for the arraignment hearing.

Preliminary Hearing Conference Docket

A preliminary hearing conference docket is a proceeding to determine if a plea may or may not be reached without a trial. This date is a day when the defense attorney and the Assistant District Attorney conference about the case. The State will make a recommendation (commonly called a plea bargain) on the case. Almost all cases have some sort of recommendation. The Defense attorney conveys the recommendation to the defendant. It is common for the defense attorney to continue the case on the conference docket to thoroughly discuss the recommendation with the defendant. The defendant and the defense attorney decide whether they want to accept the recommendation or request a preliminary hearing. If the defendant decides to accept a recommendation, then the defendant may waive his preliminary hearing and be recognized back to district court arraignment to plea on another day. If the defendant wants a preliminary hearing then the court sets a date for the preliminary hearing. Conference docket is generally held on Thursdays @ 8 am Victim/witnesses do not need to be present for the preliminary hearing conference docket.

Preliminary Hearing (Evidentiary Hearing)

A preliminary hearing (evidentiary hearing) is a probable cause hearing where witnesses are subpoenaed and testify in front of a judge. This would be the first time that witnesses would need to come to court. After listening to the testimony of witnesses, the judge determines whether there is probable cause to believe a crime occurred and whether the defendant committed the crime in that county. That means the judge listens to the people who come in to testify and makes a decision about whether something probably happened or not. If the judge decides that something probably happened, the judge finds that probable cause exists, that the defendant probably did something in that county, and sets a date for the defendant to appear for District Court Arraignment.

District Court Arraignment

District Court arraignment is a formal reading of a criminal charging document in the presence of the defendant to inform the defendant of the charges against him or her in the presence of the District Court judge. The defendant can plead, ask for additional time, ask for a motion hearing, or set the case for trial.

Disposition

Disposition is when the prosecution and defense come to a plea agreement.

Jury Trial or Trial by Jury

A jury trial or trial by jury is a legal proceeding in which a jury either makes a decision or makes findings of fact, which then direct the actions of a judge to sentence the defendant accordingly.

Victims/witnesses are never required to be here unless they are subpoenaed, but may attend any of the hearings.

Misdemeanor

Arraignment

An arraignment is a formal reading of a criminal charging document in the presence of the defendant to inform the defendant of the charges against him or her. In response to arraignment, the accused is expected to enter a plea of not guilty. The conclusion of the arraignment will set the case on a conference docket. Victims/witnesses do not need to be present for the arraignment hearing.

Misdemeanor Conference Docket

A misdemeanor conference docket is a proceeding to determine if a plea may or may not be reached without a trial. These proceedings are made up of the judge, defendant, defense attorney, and prosecutor. The conclusion of the misdemeanor conference docket will set the case for disposition (plea) or for non-jury trial. Victims/witnesses do not need to be present for the misdemeanor conference docket.

Disposition

Disposition is when the prosecution and defense come to a plea agreement.

Jury Trial or Trial by Jury

A jury trial or trial by jury is a legal proceeding in which a jury either makes a decision or makes findings of fact, which then directs the actions of a judge to sentence the defendant accordingly.

Non-Jury Trial

A non-jury trial is a legal proceeding in which the judge hears the case and makes a judgment based on the findings and facts of the case. The judge will sentence the defendant accordingly.

Victims/witnesses are never required to be here unless they are subpoenaed, but may attend any of the hearings.

  1. Wagoner County OK Homepage

  1. 307 E Cherokee Street Wagoner, OK 74467

  1. Phone: 918-485-2216

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