The judge informs you of the charges against you. If you cannot afford a private attorney, the judge will appoint the Public Defender’s Office to represent you.

Attorney Interview

Before your first pre-preliminary hearing date, you should contact our office to schedule a time to meet with your assigned attorney to discuss your case.

Pre-Trial Hearing

Your attorney will discuss your case with the district attorney (DA) and obtain an offer. Often you will have more than one court date for pre-trial hearing while your attorney negotiates with the DA.


If you enter a guilty plea prior to trial or are convicted at trial, you will be sentenced. This could include jail time. If you do not wish to do your time in the county jail, you may be eligible for the sheriff’s work program, house arrest on the electronic monitor, or other jail programs.

Informal Probation

As part of your sentence, the Court is likely to place you on informal probation for a period of either 3 or 5 years. For this type of probation, you have no probation officer and are supervised by the Court. Typically, the only terms of informal probation are that you obey all laws and pay the fines and/or fees from your case. Occasionally, you may also be ordered to complete an educational class (e.g., DUI class, domestic violence class, or petty theft class).


After the end of your probationary period, you may petition the Court for an expungement so long as you do not have any other open cases and have paid all fines for your case. Not all convictions are eligible for expungement.