How Long After Being Charged Does it Take to Go to Court?

If you have been charged for committing any crime, no matter how serious, you might be wondering how long that it will actually take for the case to go to court.

After being arrested, you will have to wait a while before it goes to court. There are a variety of different outcomes that could happen in such a situation, and we will list them here for you to read about.

The amount of time that it takes can be influenced by a variety of different things that could delay a court date, and the seriousness of the crime will determine whether or not it will even go to court in the first place.

Not all people charged with a crime will have to go to court, as some less-serious crimes in the grand scheme of things have other consequences instead. To find out more, just keep reading. 

How Long After Being Charged Does it Take to Go to Court

Court Process if you Receive an Infraction

An infraction is sometimes referred to as a violation, and it is a petty offense that is typically punishable via a fine and not real jail time.

Defendants that are charged with an infraction do not have the right to a jury trial due to the fact that they cannot result in jail time. You would have the option to hire an attorney if you choose to, but the government does not have a duty to appoint one to you.

The most common type of infraction is a traffic or driving offense. The outcome will depend on the laws of the state in which you are in at the time of the offense.

An infraction is the least severe offense and is usually related to a traffic ticket or a minor violation like speeding.

The resolution process after receiving an infraction is typically more informal, and if you did decide to plead guilty, it could be handled via mail or in a phone conversation, without you having to physically appear in court. 

The notice that you will receive will tell you whether or not your case requires you to appear in court or if it can be resolved another way.

The majority of the time, you will be required to pay a fine as a consequence of the offense. You might also have to attend a court-approved program for re-education to prevent such an incident from happening again.

If you wish to contest the charge, you will have to request a court date, and if this is the case, you or your attorney must appear in court at the date and time of your trial.

How Long After Being Charged with a Misdemeanor Will it Take to go to Court?

In the United States and California Constitutions, you have the right to a speedy trial. A speedy trial is when the defendant is tried and tested for the alleged crimes against them within a reasonable time after being arrested.

There is no set time that is defined as a speedy trial, but most states have laws that state the amount of time in which the trial will take place after the charges have been filed.

The amount of time that this will take will depend on the type of case that it is. In an extreme situation, if the court decides that the delay before the trial is an unreasonable length of time, then the court holds the right to dismiss the entire case.

If you are being held in custody on a misdemeanor charge, your trial should take place within 30 days of the date you entered your plea. The rules are different if you are not being held in custody, and in such a situation, your court trial date should be set within 45 days of you submitting your plea.

Interestingly, you do actually have the right to waive your right to a speedy trial if you need more time for your attorney to prepare your defense. If you do decide to waive this right, you will have an additional ten days from the given trial date to prepare your defense.

How Long After Being Charged with a Felony Will it Take to go to Court?

The court proceedings when you have been charged with a felony are slightly different.

You will be asked to enter a plea to the criminal complaint, and at the arraignment, you will be informed of the charges against you and asked to enter your plea. They will inform you at this time of your rights and appoint an attorney to you if you cannot provide your own.

For a felony case, there is a stage between your arraignment and your trial that is referred to as a preliminary hearing. The district attorney must be present at this hearing and be able to provide enough evidence to convince the judge that there is probable cause that you have committed the crimes that you were charged with.

Your rights state that this preliminary hearing should take place within 10 court days of the date of your arraignment. If you waive your right for the hearing to take place within ten days, the court date will be set within 60 days of your arraignment regardless. You can also waive this right.

If the judge decides that there is probable cause that you committed the crimes you were charged with, then you will be held to answer the charges, and the prosecutor will file a formal complaint that states the charges against you.

You will be arraigned by using this information. This information needs to be filed within 15 days of the preliminary hearing, and your trial will start within 60 days of the arraignment on the information.


The length of time that it takes to go to court after being charged will depend on the severity of the crime that you have allegedly committed.

Not all cases will go to court if they are petty offenses, but more serious crimes will require you to appear in court.

You do have rights in these situations, and you can waive certain rights if you feel that it is necessary. 


Thank you for visiting. This website is for informational purposes only. None of the information provided is intended to constitute, nor does it constitute, legal advice, and none of the information necessarily reflects the opinions of Misty Rock Capital LLC dba or anyone associated, employed or affiliated with Misty Rock Capital LLC dba