wondering what i could be facing an exactly what a preliminary hearing is an what happens at one..
The preliminary hearing is your first opportunity to challenge the case by questioning witnesses and getting their under oath testimony. In some counties, a DA is present, so it is also an opportunity to commence negotiations regarding a possible resolution of the case. I recommend that you contact an attorney in your area to review the facts of your case and devise a defense strategy.
Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire
D & H Law Group, P.C.
State College, PA 16801
The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to allow a neutral magisterial district judge to determine whether the government can demonstrate a prima facie case against the defendant that is charged with a criminal offense. A prima facie case requires, in layman’s terms, the government to demonstrate that it is more likely than not that: (1) a crime was committed and (2) the individual charged is the person who committed the crime. A prima facie case is not a determination of guilt. A finding of a prima facie case merely results in the charges being bound over to the Court of Common Pleas.
In this case, the criminal offense charged is DUI. To establish a prima facie case for DUI, the Commonwealth must establish that you operated a motor vehicle on a public roadway and, there is evidence your blood contained drugs or alcohol. This is not a difficult burden to meet. However, an experienced defense attorney understands that the preliminary hearing is an opportunity to explore the facts of the case completely to determine the appropriate course of action to take in the case.
Even if ARD is a potential option, an experienced DUI Defense attorney understands that ARD is not a gift, nor is it a goal. A full evaluation is always necessary.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and legal advice about DUIs.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline