The preliminary hearing is a hearing held before a magistrate without a jury to determine whether there is slight cause to believe the defendant committed a crime.This is considerably different than the burden of proof at a trial. Also, some types of hearsay are permitted at the preliminary hearing.
If the matter is not resolved up to and including the preliminary hearing, then the defendant will be arraigned on the Information in the Superior Court, Unlimited Jurisdiction.
At the arraignment, the defendant will be advised of the felony charges, their right to an attorney, and their speedy trial right, and asked for entry of plea: guilty, not guilty or no contest.
Each county in the state has its own Grand Jury. The
Grand Jury must be composed of at least 11, 19 or 23 people, depending
on the population of the county, chosen from the community. The District
Attorney will present an "Indictment" to the Grand Jury, which
is an accusation in writing charging one or more persons with a crime.
It requires 2/3 to return an Indictment. The Grand Jury Indictment is
a way around the preliminary hearing. Thus, the Indictment is filed in
place of the Information with the Superior Court, Unlimited Jurisdiction.
Written by Patrick
H. Kelly, Attorney at Law
- Written by Patrick H. Kelly, Attorney at Law
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