You are entitled to "due process". You didn't get it. I suspect there's more to this story, but if it happened like you said, your attorney needs to file an appeal.. Hopefully you haven't waited too long..
Well, it appears that Oldgoat13's step-son didn't get due process. It appears to me that what probably happened was this:
An indictment happened, and the trial was scheduled, but the step-son misunderstood somehow and thought it was going to be an arraignment.
If the initial post in this thread is correct, and the step-son got an inaccurate notice in the mail, the attorney should have moved to postpone the trial. Or perhaps moved for a mistrial, barrring further prosecution (under the double jeopardy clause).
Was the attorney unprepared to try the case? Was there ineffective assistance of counsel? If so, the step-son needs to get another lawyer to remedy the situation.