Within some criminal justice systems, a preliminary hearing (evidentiary hearing), often abbreviated verbally as a "prelim") is a proceeding, after a criminal
complainthas been filed by the prosecutor, 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
defendantmay be assisted by counsel, indeed in many jurisdictions there is a right to counsel at the preliminary hearing. In the U.S.A., since it represents the initiation of "adversarial judicial proceedings", the indigent suspect's right to appointed counsel attaches at this point. See "Moore v. Illinois", 434 U.S. 220, beginning at "The State candidly concedes that ..." (1977). [ [http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=434&invol=220 Find law] ] Contrast this with some jurisdictions in the United States, where a person may be charged, instead, by seeking a "true bill of indictment" before a grand jury; where counsel is not normally permitted.
The conduct of the preliminary hearing as well as the specific rules regarding the admissibility of evidence vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Should the court decide that there is probable cause, a formal charging instrument (called the Information) will issue; and the prosecution will continue. If the court should find that there is no probable cause, then typically the prosecution will cease. However, many jurisdictions allow the prosecution to seek a new preliminary hearing, or even seek a bill of indictment from a
Some important questions, generally addressed in such a hearing, are:
#Did the alleged crime occur within the court's
probable cause, to believe that the defendantcommitted the crime?
If a judge determines that there is sufficient evidence to believe that the defendant committed the crime, it is said that the defendant is "held to answer".
After a defendant is held to answer, the judge will set a date for
arraignment. A new pleading is filed with the court (sometimes called an "information") and the defendant can enter a plea at his or her arraignment date.
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preliminary hearing — see hearing Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. preliminary hearing … Law dictionary
preliminary hearing — The hearing to which an accused is entitled on preliminary examination, leading to his commitment, his release on bail if the offense is bailable, or his discharge from custody for want of evidence to bind him over. 21 Am J2d Crim L §§ 449, 450.… … Ballentine's law dictionary
preliminary hearing — pre hearing conference в форме заседания с участием сторон (hearing) … Glossary of international commercial arbitration
preliminary hearing — initial hearing in which the prosecutor presents evidence for probable cause in order for the judge to decide if the prosecution is justifiable … English contemporary dictionary
hearing — hear·ing n 1: a proceeding of relative formality at which evidence and arguments may be presented on the matter at issue to be decided by a person or body having decision making authority compare trial ◇ The purpose of a hearing is to provide the … Law dictionary
hearing — hear‧ing [ˈhɪərɪŋ ǁ ˈhɪr ] noun [countable] a meeting of a court or special committee to find out the facts about a case: • A court hearing is unlikely before the end of next year. confirˈmation ˌhearing 1. in the US, a hearing to approve the… … Financial and business terms
preliminary — pre‧lim‧i‧na‧ry [prɪˈlɪmnri ǁ neri] adjective [only before a noun] coming before something more official, more important etc: • Preliminary estimates indicate that earnings will decline substantially from a year ago. • The group will set the… … Financial and business terms
preliminary examination — n: preliminary hearing at hearing Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 … Law dictionary
preliminary — pre·lim·i·nary /pri li mə ˌner ē/ adj: coming before and usu. serving as a temporary or intermediate step to something preliminary negotiations a preliminary payment plan preliminary n Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 … Law dictionary
Preliminary — may refer to:*Preliminary English Test *Preliminary examination *Preliminary finals *Preliminary hearing *Preliminary Multistate Bar Review *Preliminary Notice … Wikipedia