Q:

What is a "preliminary examination" in court?

A:

A preliminary examination is a court hearing in which the prosecutor must prove to the judge that there is enough evidence and probable cause for a case to go to trial, according to Cornell University Law School. The hearing does not determine the guilt of the defendant.

Many criminal cases have preliminary examinations before the trial. However, in some cases, preliminary examinations, or hearings, are not necessary. According to Cornell University Law School, in federal criminal cases, no preliminary examination is conducted if the charges are for a petty offense, the defendant waives the hearing, the defendant is indicted or the federal government presses misdemeanor charges.

Cornell University Law School explains that if the prosecuting attorney proves there is enough evidence to prove probable cause that the defendant is guilty of the crime, the judge orders the case to go to trial. If the judge rules there is not enough evidence, the case is dismissed and the defendant is released. If the case is dismissed, the defendant may still face charges for the same crime if new evidence is uncovered.

During the preliminary examination, the prosecuting attorney introduces evidence and questions witnesses to prove probable cause. According to Tennessee State Courts, the defendant has the right to cross-examine these witnesses during the hearing.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where can I get something notarized?

    A:

    In order to have something notarized, you must bring your documentation to a notary public. Notary publics work at post offices, mail centers, packaging and shipping centers, libraries and legal offices. There are also traveling notary publics who travel to their customers, as well as notary publics who run their own private businesses. Notaries who work in post offices and mail centers work limited hours, and many work by appointment only.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the doctrine of respondeat superior?

    A:

    The legal doctrine of "respondeat superior" is a concept in tort law when a court system holds an employer legally responsible for the acts of an employee if negligence occurs within the scope of the employee's work, according to Cornell University's Legal Information Institute. A 2002 article in the Southern Medical Journal reveals that a health care provider may be held negligent, rather than a doctor, in some circumstances.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you find disciplinary action against doctors?

    A:

    To determine whether disciplinary action has been taken against a doctor, check with the state medical board of the state that the doctor is licensed in, reports ABC News. Many state licensing boards have websites, but you can also contact the board directly.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a court PR bond?

    A:

    A court PR bond involves the pre-trial release of an arrested or jailed person without the payment of bail. A court PR bond is also known as a personal recognizance bond.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore