Disclaimer: These articles are for general informational use and do not constitute legal advice. Since laws change over time, it's possible some articles are out of date and for that reason, we make no representation that the articles are fully accurate. For actual, up-to-date legal advice (including a free consultation), please contact us!
Date: Jan 24
A preliminary hearing can be a critical pretrial hearing in a state felony criminal case. In a preliminary hearing, the prosecution must present enough evidence against the defendant to demonstrate probable cause. This preliminary hearing presentation includes witness testimony and can include physical evidence. A defendant has the right to cross-examine each witness as part of the preliminary hearing. For that reason, a preliminary hearing can be a very valuable tool as a sort of trial preview.
Defendants may sometimes waive the right to a preliminary hearing when it may be better to have the hearing, and once it's waived, it's forever waived. Alternatively, a client's interest may best be served by waiving the preliminary hearing. But even if a defendant requests to waive their preliminary hearing, the prosecutor for the state can still request it. This is yet another reason it is vitally important for a defendant to have an experienced Kansas criminal defense attorney at his or her side. Ideally, a defendant would seek a qualified defense attorney from the very beginning of a case, but it's especially important to have qualified representation prior to any preliminary hearing to assist with evaluating the evidence and to advise the defendant.
If you have been accused of a crime, you are up against a whole team - police officers, prosecutors, forensics departments - who can bring to bear the full power of the state against you. You deserve a team of your own to aid in your defense. Call us today!
by John Kerns, J.D.
Hillary Stirling, research assistant