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Vocapedia > USA > Law, Justice > Preliminary hearing




George Kelly listens to testimony

during his preliminary hearing in Nogales Justice Court in Nogales, Ariz.,

in February.


Photograph: Pool photo by Mark Henle


Death and Justice on the Border: A Migrant Is Killed, a Rancher Is Charged

An unarmed Mexican man was shot as he crossed an Arizona ranch.

The case against the ranch owner has prompted a backlash among supporters

who say he is the real victim.


April 3, 2023


















preliminarty hearing


Once the defendant has entered

a plea of not guilty,

a preliminary hearing will often be held.


The prosecutor must show

that enough evidence exists

to charge the defendant.


Preliminary hearings

are not always required,

and the defendant

can choose to waive it.


It must be held

within 14 days of the initial appearance

if the defendant is being held in jail.


If the defendant is out on bail,

it must be scheduled

within 21 days of the initial appearance.

The preliminary hearing is like a mini-trial.


The prosecution will call witnesses

and introduce evidence,

and the defense can cross-examine witnesses.



the defense cannot object

to using certain evidence,

and in fact,

evidence is allowed to be presented

at a preliminary hearing

that could not be shown to a jury at trial.


If the judge concludes

there is probable cause to believe

the crime was committed by the defendant,

a trial will soon be scheduled.


However, if the judge does not believe

the evidence establishes probable cause

hat the defendant committed the offence,

they will dismiss the charges.

copied 4 April 2023,

U.S. Department of Justice














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