Preliminary Hearing

What Happens at a Preliminary Hearing?

dui preliminary hearingA Preliminary Hearing only occurs in felony criminal cases.

All felony charges require a finding of probable cause.  This can be done by Grand Jury Indictment or Preliminary Hearing.  A Preliminary Hearing is an alternative to a grand jury indictment.  

At the Preliminary Hearing the prosecutor presents evidence to the judge in open court. The defendant and criminal defense attorney are present, and the criminal defense attorney is entitled to cross-examine the state’s witnesses and present defense witnesses.

The judge will determine whether or not probable cause exists. If there is no finding of probable cause, the case is dismissed.  If the judge finds that there is probable cause to support the charges, then the case will move forward with felony criminal charges.  The next hearing is usually a Felony Arraignment.


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