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
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