At a Preliminary Hearing, one of two things can happen. The District Justice can hold the charges against the criminal defendant and send the charges to the Court of Common Pleas where the defendant will have a jury trial or the district justice can dismiss the criminal charges. What are Preliminary Hearings If the charges are dismissed the government can re-file the criminal charges dismissed at the Preliminary Hearing. While the Commonwealth, may re-file charges after a dismissal at the preliminary hearing, there are limits to its authority to do so, and even greater limits on its ability to seek that the matter be reassigned to a different magistrate. For example, the Commonwealth must refile charges prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations, and the Commonwealth may not reinstitute the charges in an effort to harass the defendant or where the refiling would prejudice the defendant.