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Who Attends a Criminal Scheduling Conference in Philadelphia?

One of the first official court proceedings that happen in a criminal prosecution is a criminal scheduling conference. These conferences are meant to help the judge, prosecution, you, and your lawyers be on the same page as to how legal proceedings are going to play out. Criminal scheduling conferences help the court keep track of your case and make sure that defendants are following appropriate rules and that both the prosecution and defense attorney are doing their jobs correctly.

Who attends a criminal scheduling conference will depend on the particular purpose of that conference. Generally, the judge, the prosecutor, and your lawyer will be in attendance, and there is a high likelihood that you will be there, too. Additionally, there is a possibility that other people may be at a criminal scheduling conference, depending on what the conference is for.

If you need legal representation – no matter where you are in the criminal process, call our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers from The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.

People Who Will Be Present at a Criminal Scheduling Conference in Philadelphia

There are certain parties that will always be present at a criminal scheduling conference in Philadelphia. Generally, this includes the Judge, the prosecutor, and any relevant court officials. While you or our Bucks County criminal defense lawyers do not technically always need to be present, it is extremely helpful to your case to be at these conferences, so it is advisable to show up anyway unless the judge directly tells you not to.

The Judge

The judge, of course, will universally be present at a pre-trial conference or criminal scheduling conference. One of the primary purposes of these conferences is to set the judge’s schedule and determine when you get your day in court in relation to all the other cases the judge will need to hear.

The Prosecution

There is also a virtual certainty that the prosecution will be present at a criminal scheduling conference. Prosecutors choose which cases they want to pursue and which cases they do not. It will not look good in the eyes of the judge if the prosecution is not present for a scheduled conference for their own case. Sometimes, the prosecution will send an assistant attorney to go in their stead, but if nobody from the prosecution side of the case is present at all, it will hurt their side and benefit yours.

Our Lawyers

Our Northeast Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers will be at your criminal scheduling conference to represent you. In many cases, we can be there in your stead, and that will count as you showing up yourself.

People Who May Be at a Criminal Scheduling Conference in Philadelphia

Criminal scheduling conferences may require different people to be present, depending on the purpose of the conference. Below are some examples of people who may be at a criminal scheduling conference but are not necessarily required to be there.

Family Members

You will likely be able to have family members present to be keyed into what is going on in your case, as well as provide moral and emotional support during a difficult time in your life. However, it is possible that a judge could request that a conference be private, in which case bystanders may not be allowed in.


There is a good chance that you will be present at your own criminal scheduling conference, but there is also a decent chance that you will not be. Not all criminal scheduling conferences require the defendant to be present, so make sure you know whether you need to be there in person or not. Additionally, in many instances, our lawyers can be at a scheduling conference in your stead, and that will be sufficient to count as you being there.

That being said, it is generally advisable to attend a criminal scheduling conference for your own case unless you are expressly told not to. Attending the conference can help give you a sense of what is going on, and it also shows to the judge and the court that you are trying to take responsibility for your situation and be responsible for your court case. Both of those things can benefit the ultimate outcome of your case.

What is a Criminal Scheduling Conference?

A criminal scheduling conference, also called a pre-trail conference, is a meeting between various parties to set the timetable and ground rules for a criminal trial. At these conferences, the judge lays out the trial date, when discovery – the gathering and sharing of evidence – will start and end, and the dates for other things that need to be done before trial.

The most important thing to keep in mind for a criminal scheduling conference is that it is incredibly important that you show up. When you appear at these conferences – regardless of how involved you need to be – it appears that you are taking ownership of your situation and trying to do the right thing for the court. This will make you look better in the eyes of the judge and the prosecution. Failure to show up when you need to can have a very negative effect on your case.

Additionally, it is at these conferences that potential deals will be made before the judge. If the prosecution wishes to offer a plea deal or other modification to the case, you or our lawyers need to be present in order to hear that deal. If you are not there, the prosecution may withdraw their offer.

Talk with Our Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyers Today

If you need help with your case, call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long’s Montgomery County criminal defense lawyers at (215) 302-0171 for a free, confidential case review.