Can a case be brought to trial without a preliminary hearing?

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Can a case be brought to trial without a preliminary hearing?

I have been following a case in Massechusetts involving a friend accused of child rape. A nother friend told me that the judge signed off on the case and that the trial will be later in the year. There has been no pre trial hearing, because it had to be rescheduled. Is this possible?

Asked on May 25, 2009 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Probably. I'm not a Massachusetts lawyer, but if your friend has been indicted, many states don't require a preliminary hearing because there has already been a finding of probable cause to hold him for trial.

It's usually not the best idea to rely too heavily on what you hear about a court case from people who aren't lawyers or otherwise familiar with the process, and sometimes this can include newspaper, tv and internet stories as well.  Even someone without a bias or their own agenda can often misunderstand what is going on.


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