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Preliminary Hearing Questions

What is a preliminary hearing?

The definition of preliminary hearing is in some criminal justice systems, a preliminary hearing often takes place after a criminal complaint that is filed by a prosecutor in order to decide if there will be enough evidence that will require a trial. In the United States a judge will need to find that there is probable cause that a crime was committed and the defendant could have committed the crime. In a preliminary hearing the defendant will be helped out by the counsel, in the United States court systems there is a right to a counsel at all preliminary hearings. Not always is a preliminary hearing required in the United States. In the United States if the defendant is charged with a federal felony, that person does have the right to an indictment by the grand jury by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

What is the purpose of a preliminary hearing?

Many believe that the reason for a preliminary hearing is very important, that is because a preliminary hearing is used to decide what the reason was for the crime that was allegedly committed by the defendant. The hearing officers that are involved will take into consideration the evidence that was presented and make a decision on the issues of the cause of the crime. For more information pertaining a Preliminary Hearing, contact the Experts.

Does a District Attorney have to agree to a continuing preliminary hearing if a private attorney requests this?

In many cases, the District Attorney would not want their complainant to a witness because then the case will continue past the preliminary hearing. The District Attorney is not required to agree to the continuing of a preliminary hearing. The judge will give the lawyer a chance to speak as to why this person should not be a witness, and then the judge will hear the District Attorneys opinion as to why they should serve as a witness, and in many cases the judge will allow the continuance.

In the state of Kentucky is it legal for a judge to change the preliminary hearing to a pretrial? Does this violate the defendant’s constitutional rights to due process?

In the state of Kentucky, a preliminary hearing is held in order to decide if there is a reason to believe that a certain crime was committed and if the defendant was the exact person that may have committed this crime, and if the crime was committed in the jurisdiction of the court. Now, if and when this preliminary hearing makes it through, the case will get turned over to the Grand Jury. A pretrial hearing means that a hearing is being held before the trial. Depending on the case, this could mean that the court is able to inspect more instead of less then what would have been looked over during the regular preliminary hearing. If this is the case, then there would be no due process violation. Many times these cases are not about finding out that is guilty, but instead to see if there was a cause and if there is a reason to believe that this certain crime as occurred and whether this person may have committed this crime. When there is a witness available, when the witness goes before the court the defense attorney would then have the right to question if the witness told the truth or not while on the stand. Once this is done, if the court decides if there was enough evidence to prosecute the defendant, the case will be sent to the Grand Jury. The process is not violating the due process.

In the state of Virginia what is the preliminary hearing law regarding placing someone in jail, admitting guilt and what happens after the preliminary hearing?

A preliminary hearing decides if there is a reason to believe that a certain person has committed a crime, and if that person is going to be charged. If there is a reason found, then the case will be sent to the Grand Jury. A person is not sent to jail during a preliminary hearing, this person is expected to accept a plea or admit to the crime. A Grand Jury takes place in many cases where a person is charged with a felony. After the Grand Jury is set up, the Commonwealth’s Attorney will put together the evidence and show it to the Grand Jury that will show that the person has committed the crime. Depending on what evidence what presented, the Grand Jury will then decide if there is enough proof to charge this person. Now, if the Grand Jury decides there is a reason to charge this person, then an indictment will be issued and the case will then move to the Circuit Court. An indictment is an official document that will charge the defendant with a crime. Once getting to this step, the defendant could be looking at a jury trial in the circuit court. Finally, after the indictment is given the defendant is brought before the circuit court.

In many cases when a person is facing a preliminary hearing there are many steps, rules, and laws that a person must understand and should understand before facing this hearing. These different steps, rules and laws can vary from state to state and can often be confusing. For more information regarding a preliminary hearing, the person can consult in legal insight to the Expert.
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Recent Preliminary Hearing Questions

  • hello.. I have a friend who is is being accused of "Credit

    hello.. I have a friend who is is being accused of "Credit Card Theft" in the Comonwealth of Virginia...
    This is his story:
    My name is Juan and I am 20 years old. I am a Cuban asilee, who arrived in the US on August 9th, 2012 via Mexico. I am currently on a C9 work permit, and have applied for my Green Card under the Cuban Adjustment Act. I have lived in the Greater Miami Florida area since my arrival in this country.
    On or about June 30th, 2014, my friend herein after referred to as “Lazaro” left Miami on a road trip. Lazaro invited me to join him on this road trip with two objectives, first to attend an “Amway” Conference as I was interested in joining “Amway”, and after the conference we were to pick up Lazaro’s children who live in another state (I do not recall which state he mentioned to me).
    I rented the car in my name, as Lazaro told me that he did not have a credit card to rent a car with, however he refunded me half the cost of the rental in cash.
    In the morning of Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014, Lazaro told me to come with him as he had to pick up a package which was sent to him. When I asked him what the package was, he told me it was DVD videos in reference to the Amway Business. He drove the car from the motel where we were staying to the FedEx location he had on a FedEx notice, which was***** Mechanicsville, VA.
    When we arrived, he told me to wait for him in the car while he went in to pick up the package. He came out a few moments later, without the package (he later told me that FedEx told him that the package was damaged and the manager had it, and that they could not give it to him). As Lazaro walked out and approached the car, two police officers approached him. They spoke in English, and as I do not speak English, I could not understand what was going on.
    The police officers then approached me, and started speaking to me in English. I told them “no speak English” and the officer made a card-motion with his hand saying “Drivers license” which I did understand and gave him my license. He took my license and went into the patrol car.
    A few seconds later the same officer approached me again, this time with his weapon drawn, and gave me instructions in English. I repeated to him that I did not speak English, but at the sight of the weapon, I put my hands up in the air.
    The officer placed me in a position over the car to search me, then proceeded to handcuff me and put inside a patrol car.
    When we arrived at the jail, they gave us 5 papers to each of us, drafted in English As I could not understand what these documents were, I asked Lazaro (as no one spoke Spanish there) “what is this” and he told that these are the charges against us.
    We were searched, were given grey prison garb, and were processed. We were eventually taken to the same holding cell.
    The next day we were taken to the court, and brought in front of the judge. The Judge assigned bond at $7,500, and were taken to sign and extradition document. I was told I had to be present at court on August 7th, 2014.
    Then we were returned to the jail, where I was allowed to make phone calls to arrange my bond.
    Ironically, on July 4th, we were “set free” as Bond was posted by our families, and on July 5th we flew home to Miami.
    At the moment of release, I was told by prison officials that this situation will NOT affect my application for my permanent residence (green card) which I applied for in April.
    I was released without any of my personal items. They kept my ID cards, my telephones, my suitcase with my clothing. I do not know if these items were held as evidence, nor do I know where to ask about getting them returned.
    The rented car was impounded, and was not given back to me. I asked to get the car back so I can return it to Hertz where I rented it from, but was told Hertz needed to get it out of impound. A few days later, Hertz charged my credit card the insane amount of $3,000 for late return of the car, and I do not know what to do with that either.
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    due to an address change I missed a preliminary hearing. without my presence the trial was moved up for arraignment. is there a way to have it moved back down to the magistrate. due to the fact that I never received notice of this hearing
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    If I was indicted for malicious wounding. Can they the court turn around and try me for malicious assault from this same indictment
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