How to Beat Your Case at a Preliminary Hearing
A preliminary hearing is one of the most important stages of a criminal case. If you are charged with a felony (and you are incarcerated), you have the right to a preliminary hearing. Many attorneys will waive this right—that is a huge mistake. A preliminary hearing is essentially a mini-trial. The arresting officer will testify and be subject to cross-examination. This may be the only time other than the trial that you will hear from the officer. It is important to know in advance of trial what he will say so that you can prepare the best defense.
The key to beating your case at a preliminary hearing is to dissect the crime that you are charged with and argue that the testimony presented is insufficient to prove that a crime has been committed. A great example of this is the charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. If the officer’s testimony does not include evidence of baggies, scales, or other tools that are commonly used to sell marijuana, then the evidence is insufficient to charge you with intent to distribute. The charge could therefore be downgraded from felony intent to distribute to simple possession of marijuana (a misdemeanor). This makes it easier to beat the case.
Don’t waive your right to a preliminary hearing. Give us a call to discuss how we can beat your case.