Once a defendant is arrested by law enforcement, they are either detained at the jail on bond or they are released. Either way the defendant is provided a court date. This first court date is the "Arraignment". An Arraignment is for the defendant to obtain an attorney and enter their first plea of Guilty or Not Guilty. A Not Guilty plea allows the defendant to have a trial and the judge will set a "Trial Date."
Prior to the Trial Date, the prosecutor and the defense attorney will appear before the Judge for "hearings". This is to discuss information between the attorney's and the Judge before the trial date. A majority of the cases do not go to Trial. If there is not a Trial, it is because a "Plea Agreement" has been established between the attorneys, the defendant and the Judge.