Good morning Susan,
I apologize for the delay. By the time you had provided your information, I had left the office for the weekend. Thanks for clarifying those things for me.
The preliminary hearing is essentially a previews of what your daughter faces at trial. The purpose of the Preliminary Hearing is to force the prosecutor to present to the court sufficient evidence to convince the judge that there is probable cause to hold your daughter for trial on the charge. And while the prosecutor may have witnesses testify, they may also introduce evidence, such as proof from the state that he license was suspended.
If any witnesses are put on the stand to testify, she will have the right to cross examine them to learn more of what they know. However, unlike a trial, she does not put on a defense. The Preliminary Hearing is all about the judge determining whether the prosecutor has enough evidence to warrant a trial on the charge.
Presuming that the prosecutor succeeds in showing that your daughter's license was in fact suspended at the time of the accident, the judge will order a trial and perhaps set a trial date.
Between now and the trial, I would suggest that your daughter retain a local criminal defense attorney to represent her so that she can have the best chance at negotiating a plea deal.
The charge is a misdemeanor and while there is no mandatory fine or jail time, both are possible---though jail for a first offense is extremely rare. A plea deal might involve a deferred sentence in which she might pay a fine, have a period of probation and if she doesn't violate the law during that time, at the end of the period the charges are dismissed and she will not have a misdemeanor conviction on her record. Her attorney will negotiate with the prosecutor to get her into one of these deferment programs and to avoid the necessity of a criminal record.
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I wish you and yours the best in 2016,