What is a pre-trial hearing?

A pre-trial hearing (or omnibus hearing) is the court proceeding where you and your lawyer will indicate whether you will either go to trial, settle the case with a plea of guilty, or ask for extra time. You may find that the courtroom is crowded when you arrive, and that you have to wait before you can meet with your court-appointed lawyer. However, no action will be taken on your case before you and your lawyer have talked.  Your lawyer might have one or more legal forms for you to read and sign. You must attend your pre-trial hearing.

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1. Is my public defender a “real lawyer”?
2. Since you’re paid by the government, the same as prosecutors, aren’t you just working together?
3. Can I call or drop by the Cowlitz County Office of Public Defense for some quick legal advice?
4. What is an arraignment?
5. What is a pre-trial hearing?
6. What is a trial readiness hearing?
7. What happens in trial?
8. What happens in a sentencing hearing?
9. How does COVID-19 impact my court hearings?
10. How do I discuss my case with my attorney during COVID-19?
11. What is a bench warrant, and what can I do if I have one?
12. What if I have a prior conviction for possession of controlled substance, aka Violation of Uniformed Controlled Substance Act (VUCSA)?
13. Why hasn’t my attorney gotten my case dropped?
14. What if I forgot my court date?
15. How do I get my record vacated/sealed?
16. If I have a problem with my court-appointed lawyer, how do I complain?
17. What can I do to help with my case?