Once a defendant answers the criminal lawsuit, or, trial information, usually in writing, with a plea of not guilty, court administration will set pretrial, final pretrial, and jury trial dates. The pretrial dates are huddles among the lawyers in the case, the defendant, and the judge. They typically are conducted as “bulk pretrials,” where dozens or perhaps more pretrial conferences are set to determine the course of the prosecution. The default position is “not guilty” and both the court and counsel assume a trial will occur unless and until the parties reach an agreement. There is no penalty for proceeding as if going to trial and then changing a plea of not guilty to a plea of guilty if the parties reach an agreement.

In any case, the pretrial is a huddle to decide whether the case is going to remain set for trial or proceed pursuant to a plea agreement with the State of Iowa. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a criminal offense in Cedar Rapids or other State of Iowa prosecution, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC at 319-389-1889 or https://www.daclawfirm.com

However, remember that a blog is not legal advice and sending unsolicited information to an attorney over the Internet does not establish an attorney-client relationship. 

The defense typically has forty days from the date of arraignment to file pretrial motions, like motions to suppress evidence for constitutional law violations and motions to dismiss for both procedural and substantive due process as well as other violations. 


What happens in a Cedar Rapids, Iowa criminal prosecution and where do I go from here? 

by David A. Cmelik Law PLC


Immediately after arrest, many clients and potential clients tell me their “trial date” is next week. That’s impossible unless they were picked up on a warrant after a long absconsion. Even then, it’s unlikely that either court administration or the judge will impose such a stringent trial schedule on defense counsel barring a speedy trial deadline. 


So upon someone’s first arrest, their next court date is likely a “preliminary hearing,” seldom held, and after that an “arraignment” date to answer to the formal criminal charge, called a Trial Information, in the State of Iowa, and sometimes called an indictment here and elsewhere.

Following arraignment, the parties are expected to simultaneously prepare for trial, usually by conducting what is called “discovery” of the prosecution’s file, including police reports, photographs, and question-answer sessions under oath but outside the presence of a judge called depositions. The Iowa criminal rules of procedure set 30 days following arraignment as the allowable discovery period, although local rules, both written and unwritten, may vary from that. Moreover, parties may seek additional time to conduct discovery directly from the judge. 


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The defense typically has forty days from the date of arraignment to file pretrial motions, like motions to suppress evidence for constitutional law violations and motions to dismiss the indictment for both procedural and substantive due process as well as other constitutional breaches.