Call of the List/Guilty Plea/ARD
At the time of the preliminary hearing, your case will be placed in one of three tracks: (1) ARD if it appears you may qualify; (2) Guilty Plea if you agree to the proposed resolution of your case at this point; or (3) Status Conference if no resolution is reached at that time. You will be given a form that provides you with the date and time of your next Court Appearance in the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County in Stroudsburg PA, not the District Judge who held the Preliminary Hearing.
THIS IS THE ONLY NOTICE TO APPEAR THAT YOU WILL RECEIVE, AND YOU ARE PLACED ON NOTICE OF YOUR NEXT COURT APPEARANCE AT THAT TIME. This is important to you since if you fail to appear at the next date, a bench warrant may be issued, you may be arrested and put in jail for failure to appear and your bail may be revoked.
Monroe County has criminal trail terms in the first two weeks of every month starting in the first Tuesday in January unless scheduled otherwise. Wednesdays of the month are reserved for Criminal Court, and your notice will contain a date and time of the Wednesday you are to appear, depending upon which track you are on. You will be scheduled to appear at either 8:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m., again depending on which track you were placed on at the time of your Preliminary Hearing. This day is known as the Call of the List/Guilty Plea/ARD Day. The Judge first takes attendance by calling all the names on the list to see if they are there and asking their lawyer whether the case is planned for a trial, guilty plea or an ARD. Other less likely alternatives are also possible. In most cases where a guilty plea has been arranged by your lawyer, the guilty plea will occur at this time. The guilty pleas and ARDS will not occur until after the Judge has gone through the entire list of names.
Juries are impanelled generally the first Tuesday of each month, and if you are going to trial, your jury will be selected that day. The trial will likely not begin that same day as a number of juries are also selected, but you will be given a date certain that your trial will commence. Just because your lawyer may have told the Judge at the Call of the List that your case will be a trial does not mean that you case will actually go to trial. It only means, and the Judge understands this, that as of that time no guilty plea or ARD or other dis-position of the case had been agreed to by both parties, and so therefore it is still scheduled for trial. Depending upon the seriousness of the case, quite often the District Attorney will not offer a plea bargain that we can accept until only a few days before the day set for trial. Sometimes a deal might not even be worked out until minutes before the actual picking of the jury.