preliminary hearing
preliminary hearing see hearing

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

preliminary hearing
n.
An initial hearing on a criminal charge to give the judge a chance to determine whether the prosecution has enough evidence to bring the charge to trial.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


preliminary hearing
In criminal law, a hearing to determine if a person charged with a felony (a serious crime punishable by a term in the state prison) should be tried for the crime charged. To bind the defendant over for trial, the judge must decide that there is substantial evidence that the defendant committed the offense.
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


preliminary hearing
n. A criminal hearing, usually before a magistrate, to determine whether there is enough evidence to issue an indictment against a person or to warrant that person's being held in custody.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.


preliminary hearing
A proceeding before a judicial officer in which the officer must decide whether a crime was committed, whether the crime occurred within the territorial jurisdiction of the court, and whether there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the crime.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


preliminary hearing
I
A proceeding before a judicial officer in which the officer must decide whether a crime was committed, whether the crime occurred within the territorial jurisdiction of the court, and whether there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the crime.
II Also, preliminary examination. A hearing by a judge to determine whether a person charged with a crime should be held for trial. (See arraignment.)

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

preliminary hearing
n.
   in criminal law, a hearing to determine if a person charged with a felony (a serious crime punishable by a term in the state prison) should be tried for the crime charged, based on whether there is some substantial evidence that he/she committed the crime. A preliminary hearing is held in the lowest local court (municipal or police court), but only if the prosecutor has filed the charge without asking the Grand Jury for an indictment for the alleged crime. Such a hearing must be held within a few days after arraignment (presentation in court of the charges and the defendant's right to plead guilty or not guilty). Since neither side wants to reveal its trial strategy, the prosecution normally presents only enough evidence and testimony to show the probability of guilt, and defendants often put on no evidence at all at the preliminary hearing, unless there is a strong chance of getting the charges dismissed. If the judge finds sufficient evidence to try the defendant, the case is sent to the appropriate court (variously called superior, county, district, common pleas) for trial. If there is no such convincing evidence, the judge will dismiss the charges. In the "Perry Mason" television series, the courtroom scenes were almost always of preliminary hearings.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • preliminary hearing — The hearing to which an accused is entitled on preliminary examination, leading to his commitment, his release on bail if the offense is bailable, or his discharge from custody for want of evidence to bind him over. 21 Am J2d Crim L §§ 449, 450.… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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  • preliminary hearing — initial hearing in which the prosecutor presents evidence for probable cause in order for the judge to decide if the prosecution is justifiable …   English contemporary dictionary

  • hearing — hear·ing n 1: a proceeding of relative formality at which evidence and arguments may be presented on the matter at issue to be decided by a person or body having decision making authority compare trial ◇ The purpose of a hearing is to provide the …   Law dictionary

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  • preliminary examination — n: preliminary hearing at hearing Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • preliminary — pre·lim·i·nary /pri li mə ˌner ē/ adj: coming before and usu. serving as a temporary or intermediate step to something preliminary negotiations a preliminary payment plan preliminary n Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

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