Initial Appearance (IA) - (In-Custody)
The first court appearance for someone arrested in Maricopa County. IA Court is located at the 4th Avenue Jail, 201 South 4th Avenue. IA Court statutorily is required to conduct hearings on persons arrested within a 24 hour time period from the time of arrest.
Initial Appearance (IA) - (Out-of-Custody)
The Initial Appearance Summons Court is the second way by which a defendant may enter the criminal felony adjudication process. Individuals are summoned to appear in court rather than being arrested and appear before the Initial Appearance Court. Hearings are conducted in much the same manner as the IA Court. Defendants are advised of the charges against them, a "not guilty" plea is entered to these charges, a determination is made regarding indigent representation, and they receive their next court date.
Defendants appearing on the Not Guilty Arraignment calendar are from Grand Jury indictments, Justice Courts, Initial Appearance Summons, and Initial Appearance Court. Defendants may be in-custody or out of custody. The in-custody defendants appear by remote videoconferencing equipment from a jail facility to reduce the number of inmate transports. During this proceeding, defendants enter a "not guilty" plea to pending charges and receive the next court date and location. Determination is also made as to the need for indigent representation.
Preliminary Hearing (PH)
Many cases in Maricopa County are set for preliminary hearing. A defendant usually will meet the lawyer assigned to their case for the first time during this proceeding. The prosecutor can present witnesses and evidence at the hearing. The judicial officer's job is to decide if there is enough evidence to show two things: (1) that the crime charged occurred, and (2) that the defendant is probably the person who committed the crime. If the commissioner finds that there is not sufficient evidence to believe that the crime occurred or to demonstrate that the defendant probably was the person who committed the crime, the case will be dismissed. If the commissioner is convinced that there is sufficient evidence to believe those two points, the case will be set for an Initial Pre-Trial Conference (IPTC).
Initial Pre-Trial Conference (IPTC)
The Initial Pre-Trial Conference (IPTC) is a court setting to review the status of a defendant's case with the court. The court will ensure that both the prosecutor and defense attorney have been assigned and that initial discovery has been provided, including a police report. The court may order that additional information, or discovery, be provided. Additionally, the court will set a trial date and may set other pretrial hearings. If the county attorney has extended a plea offer to settle the case, a defendant may enter the plea agreement at this court setting. If a plea is entered, the Court will set another court date for sentencing.
Pre-Trial Management Conference
A Pre-Trial Management Conference (PTMC) is set approximately four weeks before trial and the counsel who will actually try the case shall appear in person at the conference.