For criminal cases, trials are scheduled after the pre-trial process takes place. The entire process begins with the judicial process, followed by burden of proof and pre-trial. Sentencing occurs after the trial is complete.
Criminal cases begin with the judicial process, during which the judge and jury look at the evidence that is presented by the attorney. This evidence allows the judge to decide whether or not a trial should be scheduled. The next step is the burden of proof, which means the government must prove guilt instead of a defendant attempting to prove innocence. The individual has to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt with strong evidence against him.
Pre-trial is the first appearance in court in front a judge after that judge has decided there is sufficient evidence for a trial. The judge decides if the defendant is to remain in jail or can be released on bail, reviews the charges filed with the defendant, and advises the defendant to seek legal counsel if he has not done so already. During this time, the defendant enters a plea to the charges. If he pleads guilty, he does not go to trial; if he pleads not guilty, the trial is then scheduled.