General Information

What to Expect: Introduction

For individual's not otherwise familiar with the Criminal Justice system, their involvement therein can be overwhelming. Through any stage of the litigation, it is important for a client to listen to the advice of their appointed attorney. A defendant is required and expected to personally appear at all scheduled court hearings and proceedings. It is incumbent upon the defendant to make arrangements for this to occur and plan accordingly since the Court has priority over any other matter currently pending. 

Arrest Warrant

If at any point in the proceedings a defendant fails to appear for a scheduled court hearing a bench warrant will issue for their arrest. If an arrest warrant is issued then it is important to have such warrant lifted either by contacting your attorney to schedule proceedings or to contact Butler County Court Administration 724-284-5200) to schedule an appearance before the Court.

Major Procedural Events

Read the general description of the major procedural events in the course of any criminal case:

  1. Call of the List or Judicial Conference
  2. Driving Under the Influence Court
  3. Formal Arraignment
  4. Jury Selection
  5. Post-Sentence Motions & Appeals
  6. Preliminary Hearing
  7. Sentencing
  8. Status Conference
  9. Trial

Butler County has two kinds of hearings that occur immediately before jury selection and trial. These are called Call of the List or Judicial Conciliation. Again, this is a formal court proceeding whereby the attorney and client can again meet and decide how the case proceeds with the Commonwealth. 


Generally there three outcomes to this proceeding: 

  • The Defendant may enter into a negotiated plea agreement.
  • The Defendant may be scheduled to appear for jury selection and ultimately scheduled for a jury trial.
  • May have a continuance to later scheduled Call of the List or Judicial Conciliation date. 

Time Frame

Given the criminal caseload of the Butler County Criminal Court, these proceedings are lengthy and it is important for a defendant to make the necessary arrangements to be available all day.