Criminal defense attorney San Diego - Understanding the Preliminary Hearing in a Criminal Case

A Criminal defense attorney San Diego is your best  friend when facing criminal charges. His counsel will guide you through the proceedings and help you emerge on top. The primary role of the criminal defense attorney San Diego is to help you prove your case in a way that helps lessen the charges presented against you. Understanding the stages of the preliminary hearing in a criminal case could help you be more at ease during court proceedings.What is a preliminary hearing? When you first step in court, you will be required to plead guilty or not guilty when the charges are read to you. When a not guilty plea is entered, the court will have to determine whether the case is worth taking to trial or not. It is during this time that a preliminary hearing is held. The preliminary hearing is also referred to as the evidentiary hearing. You will need to keep your criminal defense attorney San Diego close at this stage.During the preliminary hearing, the judge will hear the evidence presented by the prosecution against you, the defendant. At a preliminary hearing, the judge will not be listening to the evidence to determine if you are innocent or guilty but rather to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. Evidence at the preliminary hearing The prosecution and the defense can both present their witnesses during the preliminary hearing. Your criminal defense attorney San Diego can also cross examine the witnesses of the prosecution. During this hearing, it is the work of the prosecution to convince the judge that the evidence available is enough to go to trial. Your criminal defense attorney San Diego will be working hard to convince the judge that there is no enough evidence. If the evidence is not convincing, the judge will have to dismiss the charges. Grand jury system It is important to note that the preliminary hearing is not held in all criminal cases. It is only held in the case of felonies. The misdemeanor crimes do not have an evidence hearing. There are cases where a grand jury system may be used in place of preliminary hearings. In this case, the jury will listen to the evidence presented by the persecution and determine whether there is any probable cause to believe the crime was actually committed. In the grand jury system, the proceedings are held in secret and behind closed doors. Only the prosecution is allowed to present his witnesses. You, the defendant, and your criminal defense attorney San Diego are not allowed in. The judge is also not present at this time. After hearing all the evidence from the prosecution, the jury will vote ‘true bill’ or ‘no bill’. With the true bill vote, the jury has decided the case should go to trial. You shouldn’t take the preliminary hearings lightly. If you really want to win the case, you should have a good criminal defense attorney San Diego representing you long before you enter your plea. The earlier you get a good lawyer the better.

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