What is a Preliminary Hearing?

After a prosecutor has initiated a case against a Defendant, a preliminary hearing can be requested or held in order to determine whether or not sufficient evidence exists to hold an individual in detention or continue with the prosecution of a case.  Essentially, the judge determines whether or not there is probable cause to continue with the case.  The level of proof is lower than what is needed to obtain a conviction and often evidence is allowed to be presented that might not be allowed at trial (such as hearsay evidence).

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