Criminal Attorney Defense Donte Wyatt ESQ

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Felony Charge Process

Criminal Attorney Donte Wyatt - 

  • Criminal Justice Process in the San Diego court System 

Felony Charges

When a person is charged with a felony crime in the city and or county of San Diego their first felony court appearance in the San Diego Superior Court is called a felony arraignment. At the felony arraignment a judge of the San Diego Superior Court will notify the person charged with the nature of the felony charges. The San Diego Superior Court will insure that the person charged has been advised of their constitutional rights by a criminal attorney. The criminal attorney will make sure that the person charged is aware of the nature of the charges, their constitutional rights and assist them in entering their felony plea. At the felony arriagnment a person can enter a plea of not guilty, guilty or no contest. Generally in a felony case the court will not accept a guilty plea at felony arraignment unless there has been prior discussions between the district attorney and the criminal attorney. If a person enters a felony plea of not guilty the San Diego Superior Court Judge will set two future dates. First the court will set a Readiness Conference and secondly the court will set a preliminary examination date for the felony charge.

Readiness Conference

felony charge process  

The readiness conference serves multiple purposes. First it is to insure that both parties are prepared to conduct the preliminary examination. Secondly, the readiness conference serves as a negotiation conference. Generally, the criminal attorney would have all of the reports and evidence prior to the readiness conference and the criminal attorney would have reviewed the information with their client. At the readiness conference the district attorney will often make an offer for the person charged to enter a change of plea. If the criminal attorney does not think that the district attorney's offer is fair or appropriate the criminal attorney can ask the San Diego Superior Court Judge what the judge will do if the person pled guilty. The judge is ultimately responsible for deciding the punishment therefore if the judge believes that the district attorney's offer is un fair the judge can try to convince the district attorney to change the offer or the judge could set an appropriate punishment over the district attorney's objection. If the case is not resolved the parties proceed to the preliminary examination.


Preliminary Examination

The preliminary examination is the first evidentiary hearing were the district attorney presents evidence to the court to establish that the person charged should be held to answer to the charges. The criminal attorney has an opportunity to cross examine all of the witnesses called by the district attorney and the criminal attorney can call defense witnesses or present other forms of evidence on behalf of the person charged. If the San Diego Superior Court Judge finds that the defendant should be held to answer to the charges the court will arraign the person immediately and set a future readiness conference day and a jury trial date. If the court does not arraign the person immediately the court will set an arraignment date. Then on the arraignment date the court will set the readiness conference and jury trial date.

Readiness Conference (Felony Disposition Conference)

The second readiness conference is similar in nature and purpose to the initial readiness conference. The primary difference is now the court, district attorney and the criminal attorney have had an opportunity to evaluate the evidence. If the case is not resolved the court will confirm the jury trial date.

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 Donte T Wyatt ESQ


1010 Second Ave
Ste # 1020
San Diego, CA, 92101



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