Preliminary Hearing Procedure for Plea Agreement Cases
All General District Court cases, where plea agreements are reached at the preliminary hearing and call for guilty pleas to be entered in the Circuit Court, will be set for a date certain for the entry of a guilty plea, without the necessity of counsel or the defendant appearing at Circuit Court term day.
The guilty plea date can be any Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday during the first half of the immediately following term of court for all cases where the preliminary hearing takes place during the first half of the then current term of court; and, any Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday in the immediately following term of court for those cases where the preliminary hearing takes place in the second half of the then current term of court.
This procedure will not affect those defendants who wish to waive grand jury and enter guilty pleas on an expedited basis. In those cases, defense counsel should advise the Commonwealth Attorney prosecuting the case that the defendant wants to waive grand jury and should then discuss a possible date for entry of a guilty plea. The date can be scheduled the week after the preliminary hearing.