What happens after a case is indicted by the grand jury and the defendant has been arraigned by the judge in criminal court?
At the arraignment the judge may or may not appoint the defendant an attorney if he or she does not yet have an attorney and cannot afford one. Sometimes the judge gives unrepresented defendants who still want to hire their own attorney an ‘attorney report back day’ which is necessary but does delay the process. Also at arraignment the judge signs an order setting up a timetable whereby the DAG has to provide the defendant’s attorney ‘discovery’ of any and all information, evidence, witness lists, video tapes, lab reports, witness statements, etc. about the case. The defense does not have that same obligation to disclose its information. The judge also sets a ‘status’ day which in theory is the date by which the defendant must either decide to accept any plea agreement that the DAG is willing to offer, if any, or the defendant must tell the court that he or she plans to ‘go to trial’ on the case and a trial date is set.