Criminal Procedures

The Criminal Process

What does a defense attorney hope to accomplish at a preliminary hearing?

In some cases, the defense attorney may hope to dismiss the case altogether by showing that the prosecution does not have probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the crime. In other words, sometimes the goal for the defense at the preliminary hearing is victory—getting the charges dismissed by a judge.

Other times, however, the defense might use the preliminary hearing to see what types of witnesses and/or evidence the prosecution has. In other words, defense attorneys sometimes use the preliminary hearing as a strategic testing ground to find out more about the prosecution’s case.


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