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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

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Attorney answers 4


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.

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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.


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

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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.