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FAQ > What is a preliminary hearing?

When a defendant is charged with a crime by the prosecutor, the judge has to determine if there is probable cause to maintain those charges so the case can go forward in the court system.  This does not mean trial.  Usually all the prosecutor has to do is put one police officer who worked on the case on the stand to tell the judge why it is the police think the defendant committed a crime.  More often than not, the judge will give the police the benefit of the doubt and the case will proceed.

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