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Can more charges can be tacked on at the preliminary hearing, that were not brought up at the original arraignment?

Los Angeles, CA |

The offender has been charged with firing a loaded weapon at an occupied building. I am wondering if the charges of altering a fire arm (sawn off shot gun) and being intoxicated will be bought up then or will he have to be arraigned on those seperately

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Don't look at arraignment as some sort of estoppel mechanism for prosecutor. Often other charges are threatened and there is nothing to provent charges being brought later. In addition, the "altering a fire arm (sawn off shot gun) " are also federal charges and may be brought by the U.S. Govt independently of the state charges.

    Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.


  2. Charges can be added. It happens all the time. All are done in the same case. They could forget to pursue the smaller charges in lieu of the bigger charges.

    OSCAR E. TOSCANO
    (800)303-7500

    I am licensed to practice in the state of California. I handle cases from Sacramento to San Diego. I have handled cases in Federal District courts from Alaska and throughout the United States. My comments and opinions are based on California law and are based on the limited information provided in the question. Legal questions are usually fact specific and a few facts can and often does change the opinion I would give. It is better to consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction (your geographic area) and provide specific details regarding your case in private. You would get more specific advice. The contents of the conversations with your attorney are confidential and are protected from being revealed. The statements made in this public forum (AVVO) are not confidential and could be revealed. Therefore, you must be very careful in the details you provide. Do not disclose information that could be a crime or that could be used in order to prove a crime was committed. If you are in California and want to clarify any of my answers, feel free to contact me.


  3. Yes! They can add charges all the way up to the day of trial, and most the time do!

    C. BRADFORD LAW FIRM
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  4. They certainly can add charges at the conclusion of the preliminary hearing. HOWEVER, they have to have presented evidence of the illegal conduct at the preliminary hearing. If they introduced brand new evidence at the prelim, evidence which had not been disclosed to your attorney, your attorney can argue against including those new charges in the case.

    If the judge refuses to hold you to answer on the new charges, the DA can dismiss your case and refile it, this time with the "new" charges added.

    Generally when offenses all occur in one incident, the DA is obligated to charge them in the same case. In other words, they can't split the supposed criminal behavior into 3 separate complaints, requiring their own complaints, their own preliminary hearings, their own trials.

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