3. Preliminary Hearing
A preliminary hearing only applies in felony and class A misdemeanor cases. The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine
- whether probable cause exists to show the crime was committed, and
- whether probable cause exists to show the defendant was the person who committed the crime.
At the hearing, the judge listens to witnesses’ testimony and receives evidence. If the judge finds probable cause that the defendant committed the crime, the defendant is bound over for trial. If the judge concludes there is insufficient evidence, the case is dismissed. Charges may be amended at the preliminary hearing.