What is a preliminary hearing? Well, basically a preliminary hearing is a little, mini-trial that happens before you go to trial. Preliminary hearings are only heard on felonies.
So, what happens is, we set a date for the preliminary hearing. We subpoena all the witnesses, which include any of the police officers that were at the scene, and the complaining witness. Anyone that has anything to do with your case, we’re gonna subpoena them and bring them in.
We hear evidence from both sides, and then the judge makes a decision as to whether or not there’s enough evidence for this case to move forward toward trial. Which is why it’s a mini-trial, because the judge is going to decide based on the evidence, if there is enough evidence.
There are a couple things that can happen at a preliminary hearing. One is, charges are added. So sometimes facts come out, and charges get added. Charges can be dropped. Sometimes there isn’t sufficient evidence to support that charge, and the judge will say “That charge is going away.” Sometimes everything stays the same. We maintain the status quo, and we move forward from there.