Court Proceedings

Court ProceedingsSan Diego Felony Case Stages

The attorneys at The Hullinger Firm, PC will defend you at every step of your felony case.  The typical felony case involves 8 court appearances and numerous filings throughout.  We only skim the surface of what actually goes on.  A felony is a serious accusation.


Step 1 – Arraignment on Complaint

  • if defendant is in custody, this must be done within 72 hours after arrest
  • the defendant is read the formal charges issued against him/her
  • depending on the charges alleged, bail is set according to the Judicial Council Bail Schedule
  • future court dates are scheduled
  • defendant must appear

Step 2 – Bail Review

  • must be done within 3 days (excluding weekends) of arraignment
  • hearing in front of judge to determine whether to increase or decrease bail amount
  • if defendant is not a flight risk or a danger to the community, then bail can be reduced
  • you need an attorney at this stage to organize evidence and present it in front of the judge

Step 3 – Readiness Conference (#1)

  • open meeting between judge, prosecutor, and an attorney from The Hullinger Firm, PC
  • bargaining and case discussion occurs

Preliminary Hearing

Step 4 – Preliminary Hearing

  • occurs within 10 days of arraignment on complaint
  • can be continued to a later date depending on the case complexity
  • evidentiary hearing where DA presents evidence and calls witnesses
  • officers may testify as to hearsay (officers can’t testify as to “double hearsay”)
  • defense can present evidence
  • prosecution must establish that probable cause exists in order for case to continue

Step 5 – Arraignment on Information

  • formal charges read and affirmed
  • defendant advised of constitutional rights
  • future court dates are scheduled

Step 6 – Readiness Conference (#2)

  • within 45 days of last court date
  • open meeting between judge, prosecutor, and an attorney from The Hullinger Firm, PC
  • bargaining and case discussion occurs


Step 7 – Jury Trial (or Judge)

  • usually within 60 days of preliminary hearing
  • in front of a jury of defendant’s peers or sitting judge
  • DA presents case and must show beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant actually committed the crime
  • witnesses and evidence presented
  • verdict rendered

Sentencing (if applicable)

Step 8 – Sentencing

  • within 20 days (excluding weekends) after guilty plea or guilty verdict
  • judge receives a probation report
  • defense submits evidence of mitigating factors
  • judge determines sentence under sentencing guidelines and taking into account mitigating evidence

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Scott Hullinger, Esq.

Scott Hullinger, Esq.

Criminal and Civil Attorney