Your intensity and interest helped a lot.". :: Torrance, California Crime Lawyers Greg Hill & Associates. In every felony case, the defendant has the statutory right to a preliminary hearing. If you entered a not guilty plea at the arraignment, the court under California Penal Code Section 859b must schedule a preliminary hearing within 10 days of the arraignment although most defendants, through their attorneys, can and will waive this time or the court may do so for good cause1. A prosecutor may not re-file charges, however, if the court made a factual finding regarding a certain count as opposed to a legal one. Some of the charges might be dismissed for lack of probable cause but others might stand and you will be held to answer on the remaining ones. 2. 3. Your professionalism and thoroughness is greatly admired. Upon the request of the prosecuting attorney, the magistrate shall require an offer of proof from the defense as to the testimony expected from the witness. . The accused can waive such a hearing and give up his or her right to such a hearing, but this is rarely done. The Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure require the court to offer a defendant the opportunity for a preliminary hearing quickly following their preliminary arraignment where they enter a plea. At a grand jury proceeding2, the prosecution need only present the evidence it chooses to indicate that a crime occurred and that you committed it. In theory, the preliminary hearing protects defendants from being subjected to erroneous or ill-conceived charges by a prosecutor. Your attorney can also present certain motions at this hearing, including: A Pitchess Motion is based on your allegations that the arresting police officer engaged in misconduct by using excessive force, fabricated evidence or performed some other illegal acts. The accused can waive such a hearing and give up his or her right to such a hearing, but this is rarely done. Strict time limits for a Preliminary Hearing apply. At the preliminary hearing, the Commonwealth must present a prima facie case, or in other words, they must show enough evidence that a crime has been committed and that the defendant is most likely the one who committed the crime. In the Preliminary Hearing, Motions are submitted by the defense to suppress evidence or to get the case dismissed or charges lessened. If granted, the court could either suppress certain evidence or dismiss the complaint. A preliminary hearing is just one part of criminal court proceedings. Possibility that witnesses who testify at the hearing will not agree to be interviewed by the defense, No probable cause is found and the court dismisses the charges. A preliminary hearing usually has one of three outcomes: 1. ", "Thanks again for your hard work. The hearing’s purpose is to test the sufficiency of the evidence to determine whether the case merits continued attention. However, the defense might win and the case might be dismissed (or the charges reduced) at the close of a preliminary hearing if: The eyewitness identification of the defendant does not hold up under cross-examination, and there is no other credible evidence to show that the defendant committed the crime in question. Defendants may waive preliminary hearings, meaning they are not required to be present. We really appreciate it and we are happy that all turned out well. In California, it is defined as “ a state of facts that would lean a man of ordinary care and prudence to believe and consciously entertain an honest and strong suspicion that the person is guilty of a crime.”. At the preliminary hearing, the petitioner (usually CPS) must present evidence to prove that there is probable cause to believe that one or more of the allegations in the petition is true. Criminal defendants must make the request within ten days of the arrest or file a motion for good cause with a judge. When the prosecution files a felony complaint against you, an arraignment is scheduled either within 48 hours after your arrest if you are in custody or at a later time if you met bail or filed a bond. The reading of the future court dates is usually the last item addressed on the record. Otherwise the case may wind up in a plea deal, being deferred or dismissed by your defense attorney. This could be on the court’s own findings and ruling or on your defense attorney’s. Before the State can file formal, felony charges against you, the State must show that probable cause exists to believe a felony was committed and you are the person who committed it. When the prosecution files a felony complaint against you, an arraignment is scheduled either within 48 hours after your arrest if you are in custody or at a later time if you met bail or filed a bond. . Double jeopardy is not a defense at this stage of the criminal process, which would prevent the state from charging you again for the same offense. The preliminary hearing which is scheduled in felony cases, is basically a probable cause hearing. It takes place before a United … 16133 Ventura Blvd., Suite 820 Encino, CA 91436, Vehicle Code 23152(e): DUI Law For Uber, Lyft Drivers, Sleep Driving Defense For DUI Sleeping Pills, Possible Outcomes Of The Preliminary Hearing, What Happens After The Preliminary Hearing, Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 531], Motion to Suppress Evidence pursuant to Penal Code Section 1538.5, Motion to Dismiss for lack of probable cause pursuant to PC 995, misdemeanor based on the lack of severity of the offense, People v. Farley (1971) 19 Cal.App.3d 215, 221, Malone v. Superior Court (1975) 47 Cal.App.3d 313, 318-319, People v. Uhlemann (1973) 9 Cal.3d 662, 664. For Preliminary Hearing purposes, probable cause simply means that the judge is convinced by a preponderance of the evidence, more probably true than not true, that there’s enough evidence to charge you with a crime and eventually put you on trial for that crime. He welcomed my input and my concerns. In other words, the evidence presented at the hearing need not be strong enough to sustain a conviction4. Arraignments differ from preliminary hearings in that the determination as to whether enough probable cause exists to charge a defendant has already been established. At preliminary hearings, every reasonable inference goes to the state, meaning that so long as it is plausible that the defendant committed a felony, the matter will be bound over for trial. A preliminary hearing is a chance for a judge to hear the facts to confirm that this case should proceed to a trial. If the defendant is out on bail, it must be scheduled within 21 days of the initial appearance. A preliminary hearing essentially determines whether there is probable cause to believe that a felony has been committed, and that the particular defendant in question is probably the person that committed a felony. The preliminary hearing is held before a judge only. If you’ve been charged with a felony, you'll have a preliminary hearing and, if held to answer for the charges, you'll be arraigned. When a defendant is charged with a felony in Ohio, a preliminary hearing will be scheduled in the local municipal court. A preliminary hearing may not be held in every criminal case in which a “not guilty” plea is entered. You do have certain rights at a preliminary hearing: You do not have the right to discovery of evidence, incriminating and exculpatory, that the prosecutor has at this time unless the hearing is held more than 15 days after your attorney or the prosecution made a formal request for discovery from the other9. ", "Thanks for investing in my case. At such a hearing, the defendant may be assisted by a lawyer. Racial profiling is another example. In every felony case, a preliminary hearing is required. Evidence comes out during the hearing in which you are found to have committed other offenses for which you have not been charged or special circumstances or enhancing factors are uncovered. ", "Dear Greg, Thank you again for all your help. Right to be present at the preliminary hearing, Right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, Prosecution must present evidence other than your alleged out-of-court confession, if applicable, Right to present witnesses in your own behalf, Fear of charges being added on or enhancments being disclosed at the hearing. It only applies when a jury has been empanelled or chosen. First, the title of the rule has been changed. The initial appearance. In contrast, an arraignment is where the defendant may file their pleas. Although probable cause is routinely found at these hearings and defendants bound over for trial on the charges, they can offer a prepared defendant in certain cases the opportunity to have charges dropped or dismissed or to at least learn what evidence the state has to support the criminal complaint. It is where the two sides try to work out deals to avoid trial. It must be held within 14 days of the initial appearance if the defendant is being held in jail. According to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), a preliminary hearing determines if there is probable cause to hold the defendant. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. I talked to other attorneys out there and they had an arms-length of attitude, but not you. In Philadelphia, preliminary hearings take place in any situation where the defendant has been charged with a felony offense. Is there probable cause that a crime was committed? If the court imposes additional charges based on evidence disclosed at the hearing, you will have to appear at an arraignment on those charges as well as on any remaining ones from the original complaint. This motion forces the prosecution to turn over the officer’s personnel file and evidence of such prior acts of misconduct by the subject officer. Both a preliminary hearing and the time period in which a preliminary hearing occurs can be waived. You are permitted to waive the preliminary hearing and proceed directly to trial. This is a defendant's first hearing after arrest. For instance, if the court found that a prosecution witness lacked credibility and the testimony was rejected, then that particular charge or count based on that testimony may not be re-filed. It is a special proceeding, held before a judge or magistrate, to determine if there is enough evidence to “hold you to answer” for a trial as to the charges. He was efficient, thorough, knowledgeable, courteous, responsive & brilliant. With warmest regards. In criminal cases in Baltimore City, preliminary hearings are automatically scheduled in all criminal cases. For those who are unfamiliar with the criminal justice system, you may have only a vague idea of how this process works. For this reason, some prosecutors may not present all the evidence on hand. Sometimes, when the charge is a felony, the judge may reduce the charge to a misdemeanor or a less serious felony. In nearly every case, the grand jury will agree to whatever charges the prosecutor seeks. The accused can also present his own witnesses, perhaps to establish an alibi or other defense. We want you to know that we are very appreciative of all that you have done [on our son's] behalf. The preliminary hearing is an extremely important step in the criminal justice process, and our criminal lawyers have successfully moved for dismissal of some or all of the charges in countless cases. If so, then you will be held to answer for the charges and the matter is transferred within the next 15 days to trial court for all further proceedings10. What Is a Preliminary Hearing Setting Conference? To establish probable cause, the evidence must only show that there are enough facts to convince a reasonable person that the crime occurred and that you are the culprit3. There are only two issues that a judge considers at the hearing: Probable cause is a term of art. Submitting a contact form, sending a text message, making a phone call, or leaving a voicemail does not create an attorney-client relationship. If probable cause is lacking on any of these particular elements, the court can reduce the offense to a misdemeanor. 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