Other Free Encyclopedias » Law Library - American Law and Legal Information » Crime and Criminal Law

Preliminary Hearing - A Procedural Overview, The Defendant's Right To A Preliminary Hearing, Other Functions Of A Preliminary Hearing

criminal trial evidence court

The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine whether the prosecutor has enough evidence to justify further criminal proceedings against the accused. The preliminary hearing is held in open court before a judge or magistrate. After the prosecution has presented its evidence and the defense has been given a chance to respond, the judicial officer decides whether there is probable cause to believe that the accused committed the crime charged. If the court finds probable cause, or in some jurisdictions "prima facie case," it will "bind the case over" to the grand jury or the trial court for further proceedings. If the evidence is insufficient, the charges are dismissed. The goal is to ensure that weak cases are eliminated early in the process, to save the defendant the anxiety and expense of having to defend himself at a trial against unwarranted accusations.

ANDREW D. LEIPOLD

CASES

Coleman v. Alabama, 399 U.S. 1 (1970).

Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103 (1975).

Goldsby v. United States, 160 U.S. 70 (1895).

Pretrial Diversion - Goals And Program Procedures, General Diversion Programs, Diversion Of Drug Abusers, The Emergence Of Drug Courts [next] [back] Prediction of Crime and Recidivism - Predictor And Criterion Variables, Outcome Of Positive And Negative Predictions, Base Rate, Statistical Prediction

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

over 3 years ago

CAN YOU TELL ME IF I CAN GET MY CASE OVER TURNED IF I DID NOT HAVE A JUDICIAL DETERMINATION OF PROBABLE CAUSE.

Vote down Vote up

over 3 years ago

CAN YOU TELL ME IF I CAN GET MY CASE OVER TURNED IF I DID NOT HAVE A JUDICIAL DETERMINATION OF PROBABLE CAUSE.

Vote down Vote up

about 4 years ago

My son was railroaded in Mendocino County Ca. and it is still going on with non-whites in this county. Charges said to be established at preliminary hearing the name is redacted out at trial when found not to be truthful and victim is added and now evidence is submitted! what about that for justice and then trial public pretender told jury her client took a shot at his cousin in closing statement for attempt murder, God help us find justice with the good old boys in Mendocino County Ca, can you help?