Waiving the right to a preliminary hearing gives the court permission to send the defendant's case directly to trial, according to Rule 541 of the Pennsylvania Code. To initiate a waiver, the defendant agrees in writing with all of the court's conditions attached to the waiver.Continue Reading
Choosing to waive a preliminary hearing is a decision to be made after consulting with an attorney. According to Nolo, there are several reasons to go this route. One reason is when the defendant accepts his guilt and wishes to plead guilty. A defendant who is guilty on one charge waives the hearing to avoid additional charges that would come to light during the hearing. In a strong case for the prosecution, notes Nolo, an angry witness may testify under oath and subsequently refuse further interviews with the defense.
Sometimes waiving is a defense strategy to avoid unwanted negative publicity, Nolo notes. In addition, some damaging witness testimony may be avoided by a preliminary hearing. Preliminary hearings are designed to establish the validity of charges brought against the defendant, FindLaw states. Evidence produced at a hearing may include sworn affidavits, physical evidence and compelling witness testimony. In high-profile cases, such evidence could taint a jury pool once it becomes public, according to FindLaw.Learn more about Crime
Waived to court means that the defense in a criminal case has waived its right to a preliminary hearing, according to Adam D. Zucker, a criminal defense attorney in Conshohocken, Pa. Waiving the preliminary hearing is not a plea of guilty. It is an agreement by the defense that the state or commonwealth can meet its burden of proof in a preliminary hearing only.Full Answer >
According to Legal Match, an adult disposition hearing is when a judge in a criminal case determines the punishment for the guilty party if he is convicted in the hearing or a court. The process usually only happens in juvenile court cases, but it happens in adult court cases as well. It is similar to the sentencing section of most court cases.Full Answer >
A preliminary hearing determines whether there is enough evidence to force an individual to stand trial, but it does not determine guilt or innocence. According to Nolo, a preliminary hearing allows both the prosecution and the defense to outline their cases, although the defense is not obligated to present information.Full Answer >
In a civil traffic case, the defendant does not have the right to see the evidence against him, the officer who issued the ticket does not have to show up for court, and guilt does not have to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, explains Nolo. In a criminal traffic case, the prosecution must prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and the defendant has the right to demand the officer appear in court.Full Answer >