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What does it mean when you waive your right to a preliminary hearing or presentation to a grand jury?

Santa Rosa, NM |

I had gone to pick up my little brother at his friends house and I went across the street to say hi to my cousin. She was having a party and there were minors there. The police had been called and they arrived right after I got there. I was charged with contributing to minors, conspiracy, and resisting arrest which I am innocent. When I went to court I was given a Waiver of Preliminary Hearing or presentation of Grand Jury. Does this mean I took the plea they offered me or am I going to Jury trial?

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

Well, you should not have waived your prelim. I never waive prelim for any of my clients. Prelim is like a miniature trial. The witnesses must come forward, be placed under oath and answer questions. The prelim is the key pre trial hearing and your best chance to get charges dismissed or to whittle the case down to what it really is. You have a right to a grand jury OR a prelim, not both. Now that you have waived prelim, a judge has determined that there is enough evidence to schedule a trial. You have not been convicted, you have only been "bound over" for trial. You can still win at trial, but you need a good lawyer to help you. Please call me, Chip Venie, 505 766 9000.

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