Criminal Defense Topics
What is a Preliminary Hearing
A preliminary hearing is a legal proceeding where the accused and their defense counsel will make a brief appearance before a judge where a determination will be made as to whether or not the case should move forward to a trial.
A preliminary hearing is typically held within 14 days of the arrest. If the judge believes there is not sufficient evidence to prosecute the accused, the judge may dismiss the case.
What Happens at a Preliminary Hearing?
Per the United States Department of Justice website, "The preliminary hearing is like a mini-trial. The prosecution will call witnesses and introduce evidence, and the defense can cross-examine witnesses. However, the defense cannot object to using certain evidence, and in fact, evidence is allowed to be presented at a preliminary hearing that could not be shown to a jury at trial.
If the judge concludes there is probable cause to believe the crime was committed by the defendant, a formal trial in court will soon be scheduled. However, if the judge does not believe the evidence establishes probable cause that the defendant committed the offense, they will dismiss the charges."
Setting Bond at a Preliminary Hearing
At the preliminary hearing the judge can set the amount of bail bond or deny bond for the accused. Bond is usually denied only for a defendant who has committed a serious crime or is a flight risk.
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime you need to hire an expert defense lawyer. Call us at 770-956-1400 to arrange time to discuss your situation and get answers to your questions.