After someone has been arrested on suspicion of a crime, the district attorney in that jurisdiction must determine whether or not to press charges and what offenses to charge the defendant with. Although everyone is entitled to the assistance of a lawyer at any point in this process, from arrest to trial, the stakes and the importance of legal representation only increase. After charges are filed, the assistance of a lawyer is absolutely necessary for the next step: the preliminary hearing.
A preliminary hearing, also known as an evidentiary hearing, is the step at which the judge determines whether or not there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial. The judge must also determine whether or not there is probable cause that the defendant committed the crimes he or she has been charged with. If these requirements are not met, the hearing will end and the case will not move further.
At this stage, the help of an experienced defense attorney is absolutely critical. There are complex rules determining whether or not evidence is admissible in a trial that only a lawyer knows. With knowledge of what information can and cannot be used against you, it is possible to limit the tools available to the prosecution. Without this knowledge, you may unknowingly face an unfair trial.
If you have been charged with a crime, you have a Constitutional right to legal representation. When your freedom is at stake, you cannot afford to trust your case to an inexperienced attorney. The Champaign defense lawyers of Bruno Law Offices have decades of experience defending the rights of innocent individuals. To discuss your case, contact the law office of Bruno Law Offices by calling (217) 328-6000 today.