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Preliminary Hearing - Conclusion

defense trial ability defendants

Preliminary hearings play a variety of roles in the criminal system. Despite the prosecutors' high success rate in establishing probable cause, the hearings may force the government to engage in self-screening before presenting the case, which helps ensure that innocent defendants are not required to endure the trauma of a trial. There are limits, however, on how stringent a screen the preliminary hearing can be. The lax evidentiary rules, the reluctance to usurp the trial jury by making credibility determinations, and the prosecutor's ability in many jurisdictions to circumvent the hearing by obtaining an indictment may constrain the magistrate's ability to dismiss all but the very weakest cases.

The high likelihood of a bindover also means, however, that many defense counsels will choose not to call witnesses or otherwise raise a defense for fear of revealing their evidence or strategy, and thus defendants will often either waive the hearing or attempt to extract other benefits from the proceeding. The chance to see the prosecutor's evidence and to lay the foundation for future impeachment through the cross-examination can play an important role in preparing the defense for trial or plea negotiations.

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about 11 years ago

i think that they should give you more information

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about 11 years ago

I think this was useful to helping me understand what I'm accused of and how to correctly view this process. I was charged w/a DUI 8/2007 but the police failed to recognize my asthma inhaler and my epilepsy problems with anxiety and panic attacks. I did blow a .085-.086 in the jail
( 1 hour later) not in the field ,but quickly found out that Proventil asthma inhalers can raise the BAC by .037!!When you add the 10% margin of error to the breath machine this really means that my real Blood Alcohol content was anywhere from .041-.062.I did admit to drinking two beers and waiting an hour roughly b-4 driving!I weigh 220 and puts me exactly at what the chart actually describes for my weight and consumption?! The eagerness for sheriff's in Incline Village NV/CA is overboard with these cases now and has put a burr in the side of justice by stripping your 4th and 5th amendment rights the minute you sign for your driver license- talk about being a victem eh? I don't drink casually and I'm not a drunk- I can't afford it!
This process has told me a lot about how you can get spat in/out of the judicial process. The irony is that the Constable whom was processing my public defender papers also has asthma and uses the same inhaler (pure ethanol propellant based) in which he said, " Gee that's good to know b/c I didn't know that and I use the same stuff?!!".
I rest my case.