Where there’s the law, there’s thelawadvisory.com. We are back again with another saga of everything you need to know about getting out of trouble.
Before we start with details, let’s cover the basics:
What is a Preliminary Hearing?
A preliminary hearing is your law purgatory, where you can either get out or dive deeper into the case. It happens before a criminal trial. In it are asked preliminary hearing questions. A preliminary hearing is the most crucial stage of the case and hiring a proper and professional lawyer is as important as religion.
They are much like arraignments, but not quite them. Want to know the difference? Read it down below.
Preliminary Hearing vs. Arraignment Hearing
In a preliminary hearing, there is a good chance of counter-argument between the defendant and the plaintiff.
In contrast, in an arraignment hearing. The judge reads the criminal charges against the defendant. The defendant is told what he is charged against first and foremost just as the hearing begins unless the defendant’s lawyer does not brush it off.
Why is a preliminary hearing performed?
A preliminary hearing is an excellent opportunity for the defendant. The defendant can waiver a trial to happen in his case if it goes in his favor. And here is a tidbit of what’s more to come; the whole thing depends upon your lawyer.
You can give your most robust answers to the preliminary hearing questions and tip the case to weigh your side heavier. By proving the other side to be weaker, you can have the upper hand and prevent a trial.
When is a preliminary hearing required?
Despite its name, a preliminary hearing is not executed before a felony case but mostly between mid-case. It is charged both in the causation of felony and misdemeanor.
Even though the proceeding is obligatory within ten court days of the defendant’s arraignment, the defendant every so often postpones it for later.
Where is a preliminary hearing held?
A preliminary hearing is held in the lowest local court known as municipal or police court, on the condition that the plaintiff has filed the charge without requesting the grand jury for a proceeding for the supposed crime.
Importance of a Preliminary Hearing
It is the first time in a preliminary hearing that the defendant hears the plaintiff’s case and also the first time he can fight against the evidence against him.
Here, a skilled criminal defense lawyer would cross-examine the plaintiff’s witness and jump to make a record of testimony for potential suppression of evidence or trump it his way.
Is it Important to Have a Lawyer at Preliminary Hearings?
We cannot stress our affirmation enough; yes, it is not just important but necessary to have a lawyer at your preliminary hearing, and here is the reason why:
A preliminary hearing is the best and most primitive proceeding that has the authority to have charges against you dropped, downgraded, or dismissed. Therefore, you must have a lawyer.
The lawyer will indict those charges by presenting evidence against you.
The evidence can appear as a declaration from witnesses, scientific testings, and proclamations to the police. The hearing doesn’t decide who’s to blame or innocent. The reason for a preliminary hearing is to determine if there is sufficient proof for the case to move downtown to “big court.” Your lawyer, here, can make a move to dismiss the case.
Your lawyer will enlighten you with the charges and the form of punishment you may have to face; be it probation or imprisonment, and make arguments on your behalf.
Your lawyer will have the opportunity to study the evidence against you and form a strong legal defense. Also, he might negotiate a lighter sentence or a decrement of charges.
The dismissal of the case would also depend on your prior criminal record and the gravity of the felony. Different level of crimes has a different level of penalties. A skillful lawyer will guide you through the affairs better.
Disadvantages of not Having a Lawyer in a Preliminary Hearing
A criminal accusation can be life-changing. Insomnia, anxiety, fear of unemployment, mortification is some impending dooms that a lost case would anticipate.
For someone to contribute the law’s weight with you is vital. Two is always better than one. Hence, fighting with someone being a guide is essential.
If you do not know matters early in the legal process, you are bound to lose and face unfavorable consequences. It is wise to appoint a lawyer from the beginning rather than revisiting the court time and time because you lost the preliminary hearing.