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What is a Preliminary Hearing?

Posted by Dan Kann | Jan 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

In California, if you are charged with committing a felony you have the right to a preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing occurs after you plead not guilty to a crime and before you ever go to trial.

The Purpose

The purpose of a preliminary hearing is for the Prosecutor to show the judge that there is enough evidence against you to continue on to trial. The standard of proof at a preliminary hearing is probable cause. This is a lower standard of proof than is required at trial. However, even though it is a lower standard of proof, it is necessary to have a skilled criminal defense attorney by your side because if you can show that there is insufficient evidence to show you committed a crime, your case will be dismissed.

The Process

A preliminary hearing works much like a trial—both sides, the Prosecution and the defendant, can present witnesses and enter evidence to support their side. The defendant can use witnesses and evidence to prove an alibi or defense or show there is not probable cause that the defendant committed the crime. There is no jury at a preliminary hearing, the decision of whether or not there is probable cause to continue to trial is left up to the judge.

Get Help at Your Preliminary Hearing

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in Ventura County, Encino, Los Angeles, Santa Clarita, or Pasadena it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you at your preliminary hearing. A skilled criminal defense attorney will be able to look at the facts of your case and determine if there are available defenses or evidence that shows there is no probable cause to continue to trial. This can save you a lot of time and stress.

The attorneys at the Kann California Defense Group have years of experience in handling preliminary hearings and will work hard to make sure your rights are protected and you are treated fairly while going through the criminal justice system. Contact us today for a free consultation on how we can help you from the start to the finish of your criminal trial, including representation at your preliminary hearing. 888-744-7730

About the Author

Dan Kann

Daniel E. Kann has devoted his entire legal career exclusively to defending individuals facing criminal prosecution in Southern California. Dan fights criminal cases throughout Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Kern, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.


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