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Criminal Court Trial Process
Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas

Magisterial District Court Level

  1. Case Institution
    1. Arrest without a warrant
    2. Complaint filed
      1. Arrest with a warrant
      2. Summons
  2. Preliminary Arraignment
    1. Defendant advised of charges
    2. Bail may be set
    3. Date set for Preliminary Hearing
  3. Preliminary Hearing
    1. Case may be resolved
    2. Charges may be dismissed
    3. Case or charges may be bound over to Common Pleas Court and a Common Pleas arraignment date is set

Common Pleas Level

  1. Court arraignment
    1. Defense counsel enters appearance
    2. Defendant given copy of Information and advised of time limits regarding discovery and pretrial motions; and of necessity of filing certain notices
    3. Defendant enters plea of guilty or not guilty
    4. Case may be diverted
    5. Trial date set
  2. Pretrial matters resolved
  3. Trial, Plea or Diversion
    1. If guilty, sentencing occurs or is scheduled
    2. Pre-sentence investigation may be ordered
  4. Post-Trial
    1. Post-trial motions may be filed
    2. Post-trial motions may be scheduled for hearing
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Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas, 455 West Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA 18101-1614 • (610) 782-3000