Criminal Preliminary Hearing
Check out this video about what a criminal preliminary hearing is in Arizona. Then, call Smith & Green Attorneys at Law today for a legal consultation.
What is a criminal preliminary hearing?
A preliminary hearing, in the courts of Arizona and in the federal courts and in most jurisdictions across the country, is what we call a probable cause hearing, in other words. It’s an abbreviated hearing. It’s almost like a mini-trial where the prosecutor presents evidence to the court to prove to the court that they have probable cause to proceed on the charges. Again, this is different from the trial itself. At a preliminary hearing, the prosecutor is not under the burden of proving all of the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt as they will be in the trial; this is just a probable cause hearing to determine if this prosecutor, the state or the United States attorney, whoever it is, has enough evidence to proceed on the charges that have been filed against you.
At a preliminary hearing, there are witnesses that are called. The defense attorney gets to cross examine the witnesses. This is not in front of a jury. It’s in front of a judge, and the judge will make a determination or a finding that there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that the person that’s being charged with the crime, the defendant, was likely the one that committed the crime and that the prosecutor can go forward with the trial to prove his case. Or, the judge will hold a finding that there is not enough evidence to prove that a crime was committed and this particular defendant was the one who committed it. A probable cause hearing is a mini-trial. It’s a very abbreviated thing.
Here in Maricopa County particularly we don’t see a whole lot of preliminary hearings because here in Arizona, they prefer to go to the grand journey. Alot of drug cases will get preliminary hearings, and so it’s something that you should be prepared for. You need to talk with your lawyer about these issues way in advance because if you can get a favorable probable cause finding, then that case gets chucked out early on and you don’t have to endure the rigors of going through a complete criminal trial. You want to talk to your lawyer. Get a good lawyer if you have a preliminary hearing scheduled so that they can prepare for that because that is an opportunity to get rid of the charges. Call our office. Call a competent lawyer. We’d be more than willing to talk to you about this preliminary hearing that you have set.
Have you or a loved one been involved in a criminal defense case and have questions about criminal preliminary hearing? Contact experienced Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorneys at Smith & Green today for a legal consultation.
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