Pretrial Hearing in Chatham County
What’s the goal of a pretrial or preliminary hearing?
Held in magistrate court, a pretrial or preliminary hearing is used to determine whether the prosecution has probable cause to pursue the case. This hearing is about evidence – it’s not the part of the process to decide whether someone is innocent or guilty.
Probable cause is an important part of a pretrial hearing. Essentially, it is the question of whether or not there is enough evidence to prove a crime occurred and that the defendant may be responsible.
What happens during the hearing?
Defendants are usually present at the pretrial hearing in Chatham County. The prosecutor attempts to show probable cause and the defense will argue for a lack of evidence.
If the court finds no probable cause, the judge will dismiss the case and release the defendants.
If the court decides there is probable cause, the judge will decide at the preliminary hearing if the charges are appropriate. Also, whether the crime is a misdemeanor or felony.
Help With Your Preliminary Trial
If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, contact the Turner Law Firm to schedule a free review of your case.