Mahaffey & Associates, LLC
Call For A Free Consultation
888-422-6894

Preliminary hearings can give your defense a head start

From the time that you're charged with a crime onward, your attorney will constantly evaluate the evidence against you and the options that you have. Not every case will have a preliminary hearing. If yours does, you should understand how it can help your defense attorney get a better idea of what sort of expectations to have about your case.

A prelim is heard before a judge, not a jury, and it doesn't decide your guilt or innocence. It merely decides whether or not there's a logical reason to put you on trial and enough viable evidence to possibly result in a conviction.

Because prelims are designed to protect people against unreasonable prosecution, your attorney will try hard to challenge the admissibility of any evidence that the prosecution offers against you. Similarly, he or she will try to find weaknesses in the testimony of any witnesses brought in against you. Questioning a witness on the record early in the case also offers your defense attorney the advantage of "locking in" that testimony. If a witness deviates from it later, that early testimony can be used to destroy the witness's credibility in front of a jury.

If the preliminary hearing reveals some serious weaknesses in the prosecution's case, there's always the possibility that the judge will dismiss the case before it goes any further. If flaws come to light during the prelim that may make prosecution difficult but not impossible, the prosecutor may be more willing to discuss a favorable plea deal with you.

Even though the majority of cases that have a preliminary hearing still get bound over for trial, they still give your attorney another valuable opportunity: a chance to measure the atmosphere of the entire trial. Does the judge seem sensitive to some aspect of your case that could make him or her less-than-impartial? Is the prosecutor in your case known for being reasonable and inclined to work with defendants or is he or she particularly aggressive? Is there some aspect of your case that's attracting media attention? If so, could that attention push the judge or prosecutor toward leniency or could it result in a more severe approach?

Every step of the judicial process has the possibility of changing the potential outcomes available to you as new information gets revealed. To learn more about our firm's approach, please take a look at our page on criminal defense.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Ready To Help

Call Mahaffey & Associates, LLC, toll free at 888-422-6894 to speak with one of our experienced lawyers.

We offer free initial phone consultations. Evening and weekend appointments are also available upon request.

We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

VISA | MasterCard | American Express | Discover Network
Tell Us About Your Legal Need

Tell Us About Your Legal Need

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

A Full Service Firm For Northwest Ohio with Three Convenient Locations 24/7 Phones And Appointments Taken at 888-422-6894.

Review Us

Sylvania Office
8527 West Central Avenue
Sylvania, OH 43560

Phone: 419-829-2255
Sylvania Law Office Map

Northwood Office
3200 Woodville Road
Northwood, OH 43619

Phone: 419-693-5515
Northwood Law Office Map

Toledo Office
3131 Executive Parkway, Suite 100
Toledo, OH 43606

Phone: 419-472-5555
Toledo Law Office Map