Featured News 2018 What Is a Preliminary Hearing?

What Is a Preliminary Hearing?

A preliminary hearing is a part of the legal process where it is determined if a case has enough evidence to prosecute in a trial. During the hearing, the prosecution and the defense will both make a case that the evidence substantiates their side of the law. The prosecution will try to provide evidence that suggests that there is probable cause to take the defendant to trial. The defense will question the potency of that evidence, and try to sway the judge to call off the charges before it goes to trial. The judge is the sole decider in determining if a case will continue to trial, or if the charges will be waived; therefore, no jury is present at a preliminary hearing.

Why Hiring a Lawyer Before a Preliminary Hearing Is Crucial

Hiring an attorney before a preliminary hearing is almost as important as having an attorney at an actual trial. This is due to the fact that the preliminary hearing can determine if a trial ever occurs.

With the right defense, it is possible the charges that a defendant faces will be dropped during a preliminary hearing. Additionally, hiring a professional defense lawyer before the preliminary hearing shows a judge that the defendant truly believes in his or her own innocence. Representing yourself and your side of the story through the use of a defense lawyer can help a judge see the facts correctly.

Criminal attorneys can help a defendant make decisions regarding plea bargains. If the prosecution has a strong case, a plea bargain offered before a preliminary hearing may be the best option a defendant will get. Once the preliminary hearing is finished and the judge moves the case to trial, the defendant may never be offered a better plea bargain than the one they got before the case moved to trial.

These kinds of decisions must be discussed with a professional defense attorney before an outcome is chosen. All aspects of the case must be seen through the eyes of a legal expert to determine the best course of action for the client—especially before a preliminary hearing is conducted.

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