What Is a Contested Omnibus Hearing?

A contested omnibus hearing is a pretrial hearing that deals with the admissibility of evidence, according to the Criminal Division of Olmstead County, Minn. If the defendant and his attorney believe that evidence was gathered improperly, they present the case against the evidence at the contested omnibus hearing. Based on the amount of admissible evidence, the judge decides whether the case proceeds to trial.

A contested omnibus hearing is usually held four to six weeks after arraignment, though it could take longer, explains the Criminal Matters Department of Lake County, Minn. Contested omnibus hearings must be assigned to a specific district court judge, while uncontested omnibus hearings have no such restriction. At contested omnibus hearings, law enforcement officers usually testify about evidence, statements taken from the defendant and the facts of the case. The district court judge evaluates the facts of the case as well as the admissibility of evidence. If the judge determines there is not enough evidence for probable cause, the judge dismisses the case. If the district court judge decides the case has merit, it moves forward to trial unless the defendant enters a guilty plea, takes a plea deal or resolves the case in another way.