What Does “bound Over for Trial” Mean?

In legal terms, the phrase “bound over for trial” indicates that a judge believes that there is probable cause for a case to proceed to trial, according to the American Bar Association. Probable cause means that there is enough evidence to credibly suggest a defendant’s guilt.

If the court finds that the prosecution lacks sufficient probable cause to proceed to trial, the judge may dismiss the case, as detailed by the American Bar Association. The process by which a defendant is bound over for trial is called a preliminary hearing, and it is similar to the process by which a grand jury may deliver an indictment.