Procedures in Criminal Cases

  1. Preliminary Arraignment
  2. Public Defender Process
  3. Preliminary Hearing
  4. Formal Arraignment
  5. Trial

After a person is arrested, a criminal case may proceed in a number of ways. The accused can be released and receive paperwork in the mail. The person can also be taken into custody, be taken before a district justice and preliminarily arraigned. Bail will be set. The bail can be ROR, which means the person is released after signing a bail bond. The bail may be an amount of cash bail to ensure the person's appearance at later date. Factors that determine the bail amount can include the nature of the charges, prior criminal history, whether the person has significant and longstanding contacts with the community and employment history. The district justice may also impose additional nonmonetary conditions of bail, such as address verification and drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations which must occur prior to release from custody. If the person or someone on their behalf can pay the bail amount, the person is released. If the bail amount and any conditions cannot be met, the person is taken to the Bucks County Correctional Facility.