What is a preliminary hearing?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What is a preliminary hearing?

My son was arrested and I just wanted to know.

Asked on November 18, 2018 under Criminal Law, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Most criminal prosecutions typically begin with an arraingnment. However, in some jurisdictions or certain kinds of cases, a "preliminary hearing" may be held instead. Such hearings are similar to arraignments but provide more opportunity for the defendant's side of things to be heard.A preliminary hearing basically a "trial before the trial" during the judge decides, whether there is enough evidence to force the defendant to stand trial, not whether the defendant is guilty or not. In making this determination, the judg decides if the government has produced enough evidence to convince a reasonable jury that the defendant committed the crime charged. In other words, whether there is probable cause to proceed. Here is a link to an atricle that will explain further: https://criminal-law.freeadvice.com/criminal-law/criminal-law/preliminary-hearing.htm

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