What is a preliminary hearing?

A preliminary hearing is held in an Associate Circuit Court. The defendant, his/her attorney, and any pertinent witnesses will be present along with an assistant prosecuting attorney. A hearing will be held, unless waived (allowed to continue to the next step without requiring a hearing) by the defendant, and if sufficient evidence is presented the case proceeds to the Circuit Court for further legal proceedings. This does not mean the defendant is legally guilty. It means that they are now formally charged.

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1. What is a subpoena?
2. How does a complaint become a criminal case?
3. What is a preliminary hearing?
4. What if the judge decides there is not sufficient evidence at the preliminary hearing?
5. Do cases always go to trial if they are not dismissed?
6. What happens if the case gets set for trial?
7. What happens in a trial?
8. How and when is sentencing determined?
9. What if I change my mind about prosecuting or testifying?
10. What if the defense attorney contacts me about the case?
11. What if someone threatens me to drop the charges?
12. Should I be concerned if months pass without hearing from the court or the Prosecuting Attorney's Office?
13. Where do I park?
14. Can I be compensated for losses I have suffered as a victim?