333 S. Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98371 - 253-841-4321

City of Puyallup

Criminal Hearings and Descriptions

There are many types of hearings scheduled in Municipal Court. The following descriptions contains the hearing title and definitions of these hearings. Depending on the type of violation, a person may appear for one or several of these hearing types during the "life" of a case.
Arraignment (Criminal Proceeding)

This is the first appearance in Court on a criminal charge where a defendant is advised of the nature of the charges, their constitutional rights, and enters a plea.  The plea determines how the case will move forward. 

At arraignment, unless the defendant appears with a lawyer, the court advises the defendant on the record of the right to trial by jury, if applicable, and of the right to be represented by a lawyer and to have an appointed lawyer if the defendant cannot afford one. CrRLJ 4.1(a)(2).

Trial
All persons charged with a crime have a right to a jury trial.  In Municipal Court, a jury is made up of six persons.  In some cases a defendant may choose to waive his or her right to a jury and request a trial before the judge only.  A trial before the judge is commonly referred to as a bench trial.
Pre Trial Hearing and Readiness Hearings
At a pretrial hearing, the parties advise the court of how they wish the case to proceed.  If there is a plea bargin, it will be presented to the judge at that time.  If the case is proceeding to jury trial, a readiness hearing and trial date will be determined.  In some circumstances, it may be necessary to set a motion hearing prior to the trial date.
Sentencing and Review Hearings

If a defendant pleads guilty to a criminal charge it is sometimes set over for a final imposition of any fines, jail or probation supervision.  This hearing is called a sentencing proceeding.

Review hearings are usually set in order to track progress on various conditions of a sentence and to ensure compliance.