What happens at the arraignment, preliminary hearing, and pre-trial court dates?

At an arraignment, the charges against the defendant are presented, a lawyer is appointed if the defendant cannot afford one, and the defendant’s plea is entered. At a preliminary hearing, the prosecutor presents evidence to a judge to show there is probable cause that the defendant committed the crime(s) charged and should face trial. A pre-trial conference is an opportunity for the parties to discuss the case with the judge, including possible dispositions and dates for future court hearings.