How long does a judge have to make a preliminary hearing decision

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How long does a judge have to make a preliminary hearing decision

Asked on May 5, 2009 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is nothing in the law that puts an exact time limit on a judge's decision, in most cases.  Sometimes, it can take months for a trial verdict, where the judge hears a case without a jury.

Still, you should not have to wait too long. Most preliminary hearing decisions are not that difficult, since the only question is, is there enough evidence to justify making the defendant stand trial?  The answer is usually yes, since the prosecutor gets the benefit of the doubt at this stage.  Because of that, if the judge is having trouble with the decision, it might be a good sign, so your best bet is to sit quietly and wait.

Most judges have to fill out reports every month, showing how many cases they got, how many cases they decided, and how many cases they have in their "backlog."  So I'd guess your worst case here would be by the end of the month.


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