One issue that arises with great frequency in Criminal Defense cases is should I waive my Preliminary Hearing? Before we answer and look at that question it is helpful to review just what a Preliminary Hearing is. A Preliminary Hearing is a statutory right that is given to criminal defendants who are accused of committing certain crimes. sex crimes Specifically, individuals charged with having committed crimes that are either misdemeanors or felonies. The purpose of the Preliminary Hearing is to grant the accused due process protection since he is being placed on bail. Accordingly, the accused has the right to challenge the governments case by having his attorney cross-examine the government’s witnesses and argue that the government cannot meet their burden that it is more likely than not that the defendant committed the crimes that he is charged with. After a hearing, where the government calls witnesses to testify, the defense can argue that some or all of the charges should be dismissed. Make sure to hire an experienced Chester County Criminal Lawyer if you scheduled for a Preliminary Hearing
The primary question raised by this blog is Why should I waive my Preliminary Hearing in a Criminal Defense case? There are several reasons. The primary reasons is that the District Attorneys office offers criminal defendants in certain cases to participate in diversionary programs such as ARD and Drug Court. If these programs are successfully completed then an accused may have the charges against him withdrawn and eventually expunged. false swearing An accused is only eligible for these programs if he waives his right to a Preliminary Hearing. Additionally, an attorney may recommend that a Preliminary Hearing be waived if the government attorney agrees to take the waiver into consideration when making an ultimate offer on the case. For example the prosecutor might offer probation instead of jail time in exchange for a waiver.