Encyclopedia > Preliminary hearing

  Article Content

Preliminary hearing

Within some criminal justice systems, a preliminary hearing (evidentiary hearing) is a meeting to determine whether, and to what extent, criminal charges and civil cause of actions will be heard (by a court), what evidence will be admitted, and what else must be done (before a case can proceed). At such a hearing, the defendant may be assisted by counsel. In the US (and some other locations), a person may be charged, instead, by a grand jury; where counsel is not permitted. Should court decide in the affirmative, a formal indictment will be made; and a trial date set. If the defendant feels that evidence against them is "strong", then they may request a plea bargain.

Some important questions, generally addressed in such a hearing, are:

  1. Did the alleged crime occur within the court's jurisdiction?
  2. Is there probable cause, to believe that the defendant committed the crime?

See also: grand jury

This article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by fixing it.



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
1521

... kingdom. August 29 - Capture of Belgrade by the Turkish army of Suleiman I after a brave resistance. November 23 - Spanish-German-Papal forces under Prosper Colonna[?] ...