What is a preliminary hearing?
Preliminary hearing is a hearing to determine probable cause. At the preliminary hearing an officer will read out the incident or summary report in your case. Your attorney will have the opportunity to ask questions of the officer. However, the officer will likely not be an officer involved in your case, he simply reads the report and generally cannot answer any questions that are not answered in the report. You won’t testify. This is generally not an opportunity to present defenses or new evidence not contained within the report. After the report is read and any questions are answered, a magistrate judge will make a determination of whether or not there was probable cause to arrest you. If he finds probable cause, your case will continue. If he finds no probable cause the case will be dismissed, but may still be brought back by the solicitor if he or she decides to direct indict.
Many cases do not require a preliminary hearing because the standards are different from trial. Your public defender will help you make this determination. A request for preliminary hearing must be made on your initial appearance date or it is waived.

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1. What is a Public Defender?
2. Do I qualify for a Public Defender?
3. How do I apply for a Public Defender?
4. What are the Court Dates I was given?
5. What is discovery?
6. What is a preliminary hearing?