The best way to find out what your best options are is to talk to a criminal defense attorney. In the meantime, read on to learn about the main pros and cons of waiving this hearing.
The Main Advantages of Waiving Your Preliminary Hearing
It is rarely a good idea to waive your preliminary hearing – except in very specific circumstances. One potential advantage is that it avoids preserving testimony of witnesses. This is especially valid if there is a reluctant witness who may not be willing to testify at a future date. If you waive the preliminary hearing, it is possible they could decide not to testify before you get to trial.
Second, it is possible that your ability to obtain bail can be affected if the preliminary hearing shows that the crime as aggravated. Finally, waiving the preliminary hearing essentially means that the charges are set – and it avoids evidence of offenses being brought up that are not in the complaint against you.
The Main Disadvantages of Waiving Your Preliminary Hearing
There are many more reasons not to waive your preliminary hearing than to waive it. The hearing can be helpful in that it can reveal defense options that were not otherwise obvious. It can show us which witnesses make good witnesses and which are not good on the stand. It can show the prosecutor that there are issues with their case, which could lead them to reduce or drop the charges.
You Cannot Automatically Waive Your Hearing
Waiving your hearing is not as simple as stating your preference. In order to give up your right to a preliminary hearing, you must expressly wave it and you must be represented by an attorney. Note that even if both of those factors apply, the prosecutor has the right to insist on one – and so does the judge.
The Goals at the Preliminary Hearing
The preliminary hearing is the prosecutor’s chance to establish that there is enough cause to charge you with the crime. While they need to prove that there is enough to move forward with, they are also trying to present as little of their case as possible in order not to give the defense an advantage.
Your defense attorney will have very different goals. They will be working to find ways to impeach the witnesses for the prosecution, to evaluate the quality of testimony, to get information they can use during negotiations, and to evaluate where the case is strong and where it is weak.
In almost all cases, it is worth it to have a preliminary hearing. if your case is one of the few exceptions, your attorney can help you understand why. You can contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 right now to request a free legal consultation.