Do you find yourself asking what a disposition hearing is in criminal court? This blog post will explain what you need to know about disposition hearings. 

If you are facing criminal charges, it is very important that you hire an attorney early in the process. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner you can begin protecting your rights. Your lawyer will also want as much time as possible to examine your case and fight the charges before a disposition hearing is scheduled. 

Understanding What a Disposition Hearing Is

Explaining what a disposition hearing is requires examining the life of a criminal case. A criminal case can have many different types of hearings: an initial appearance, a preliminary hearing, bail hearings, status hearings, motion hearings, disposition hearings, jury status, trial, and sentencing.

If a case is resolved at any point, no further hearings will occur, with the exception of sentencing if a guilty plea is entered. A disposition hearing will almost always occur late in the criminal case process. This is because at a disposition hearing the court requires a case to either be resolved or to be scheduled for trial. 

At a disposition hearing, the parties to the case find out what will happen next, i.e., whether the case will proceed to trial. Disposition hearings point towards the final outcome. 

What are Common Types of Dispositions?

There are several different types of dispositions that can happen at a disposition hearing. When the court enters a disposition on criminal charges at a disposition hearing, it could be one of the following:

  • Conviction by guilty plea 
  • Certain charges dropped by the prosecutor
  • Certain charges dismissed by the court

The disposition hearing may not resolve the case or dispose of all the charges. Sometimes at the disposition hearing, the case is set for trial. 

If a guilty plea was entered at the disposition hearing, the defendant usually has the option of going straight to sentencing or scheduling a sentencing hearing for the future to give them more time to prepare. 

Why Do You Need a Lawyer Before a Disposition Hearing?

It is critical that you hire a criminal defense attorney well in advance of a disposition hearing. The disposition hearing could be the end of your case or could have a significant impact on the final outcome. 

A disposition hearing is one of the last stops before sentencing or trial. You cannot afford to risk your future, your freedom, and your reputation by trying to go it alone. Only an experienced criminal defense lawyer can properly evaluate your case and advise you on what to do. 

Your lawyer may be able to fight the charges against you and may be able to negotiate the case with prosecutors. Your attorney will also have insight into likely outcomes at trial and can help you prepare for a sentencing argument if you are convicted. 

Your attorney is someone who will be looking out for your best interests. Make sure you hire a good lawyer long before a disposition hearing, so they have plenty of time to go over your case with you and advise you on how to best proceed. 

Now That You Know What is a Disposition Hearing Is

Now you have an overview of what a disposition hearing is in criminal court. If you have an open criminal case, such as a DUI, it is very important for you to begin working with a criminal defense lawyer long before a disposition hearing is scheduled. However, if you do have one scheduled, it is likely not too late to retain legal counsel.

Contact the Lexington Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today

For more information, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC give us a call today at (859) 569-4014 or visit us at our Lexington Law Office.

Suhre & Associates, LLC – Lexington
333 West Vine Street #300-19
Lexington, KY 40507
United States