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Is my presence needed at the preliminary hearing?

Pittsburgh, PA |

I'm the victim but not the witness of a thief. The DA wanted to discuss what dates I am "not available, " which makes me worried . Is my presence needed at some point or the case will be dropped.

I meant to ask, is my presence crucial to the case going forward?

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Attorney answers 5


The prosecutor will likely require you to attend both the preliminary hearing and trial if it makes it that far. The DA will ask you at any hearing or proceeding if you gave the defendant permission to possess your property, as it's an essential element of any theft crime.. If you are served with a subpoena, it is a court order requiring you to attend a legal proceeding. Failing to attend could potentially lead to a warrant being issued for your arrest.

You may have the opportunity to tell the DA that you do not wish to prosecute in the future, but they do not have to abide by your wishes.

There is no such thing as free legal advice. Any content provided by Attorney Dave Zuckerman or the Zuckerman Law Firm, LLC is for informational and/or marketing purposes only, and MUST NOT be construed as legal advice for any individual case or situation in any state or jurisdiction. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. No person has an attorney-client relationship with the Zuckerman Law Firm unless a proper Client Agreement is signed along with the payment of any and all legal fees. If you are seeking legal advice for any matter of importance, you should always consult with a qualified attorney in the particular field of practice. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you should contact the local Public Defender's office or the local Bar Association in the County where you reside.


If you are a crime victim and you would like the defendant held accountable you need to communicate with and cooperate with the prosecuting attorney. Call the prosecutor tomorrow to discuss your availability.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney--Free Consultations--call or email today.


Your presence at the preliminary hearing is likely crucial to the case moving forward. Testimony from you is needed to establish that the subject property was in fact stolen; your ability to identify the thief in particular is not needed. Essentially the Commonwealth needs you to establish that the defendant did not have your permission to take or be in possession of the property. I will note my surprise that you have had communication with a representative of the DA's Office in advance of a preliminary hearing. Typically police who filed the charges communicate with witnesses. As mentioned by Mr. Zuckerman, if you are subpoenaed, you must attend as required by the subpoena.


I think this is a question you need to ask of the DA. If you are subpoenaed to be at the hearing then you must attend. If you don't show up, then depending on the facts of the case, it may be dismissed if the Commonwealth does not have enough evidence to establish a prima fascia case against the Defendant.


Yes. Your presence as the victim is absolutely necessary for the prosecution to proceed.

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