Stages of Criminal Prosecution: Pretrial, Trial, & Post Trial

If you or a loved one was recently arrested, you likely have hundreds of questions running through your mind, but the best ways to combat such confusion is by learning what to expect. The attorneys at Johnson and Lufrano, P.A. have the experience and know-how to answer your most difficult questions starting with an explanation on how the criminal justice system actually works.


Overview of Criminal Prosecution:

  • A criminal prosecution is typically described as consisting of three segments: Pretrial, Trial and Post-Trial.


  • The pretrial stage generally includes the timeframe starting with an arrest up until the case is resolved through a trial or plea.
  • During the pretrial stage many different events will likely occur including: a first appearance probable cause determination, arraignment, pretrial conferences, participation in the discovery process, necessary investigation, and possibly resolution through plea agreement.


  • This stage of the criminal process is reached once the parties have completed discovery and are prepared to have a jury determine whether a law violation has occurred.
  • This stage includes both jury selection and the trial itself.

Post Trial

  • If a defendant is convicted a motion for new trial may be filed within 10 days.
  • Should a Court deny the motion for new trial, a defendant would also undergo a sentencing hearing.
  • A Defendant would then have only 30 days from the sentencing date to file an appeal.