What Questions Does A Judge Ask During A Preliminary Hearing?

What Questions Does A Judge Ask During A Preliminary Hearing
Is an arraignment different than a preliminary hearing? – An arraignment is different than a preliminary hearing. An arraignment hearing is the first formal court proceeding in the criminal law process and it follows an arrest. This is the stage in a case where:

  • the court will advise the defendant of his/her Constitutional rights,
  • the accused will find out the specific charges that have been filed against him/her,
  • the defendant will have the opportunity to enter a plea, and
  • the court will set, modify, reinstate, or exonerate the accused’s bail,

As to a plea, the defendant may enter any of the following:

  • not guilty,
  • guilty, or
  • nolo contendere (or “no contest”).

The latter is essentially a guilty plea with the difference being that a “no contest” plea cannot be used as evidence against a defendant in the event that there is also a civil case that arises from the incident. As to the issue of bail, note that before the judge makes the decision on whether to grant bail, he/she must hold a bail hearing. During this hearing, the judge learns facts about:

  1. how long the defendant has lived in the area,
  2. if the accused has family in the area,
  3. the defendant’s prior criminal record,
  4. if the accused has threatened any witnesses in the case, and
  5. if the accused poses a danger to the community.

The judge will consider all of these factors in determining whether bail should be granted.4 What Questions Does A Judge Ask During A Preliminary Hearing Contact us for help.

What are the sample questions for witness?

Sample Questions for Witnesses Where did it happen? Who was involved? What did each person do and say? Did anyone else see it happen?

What happens at a preliminary hearing in Idaho?

A criminal case is one in which an individual is accused of conduct that has potentially damaged society. There are two main types of criminal cases: misdemeanors and felonies. A misdemeanor is a charge punishable by a fine or imprisonment in the county jail.

  1. A felony is a charge potentially punishable by incarceration in the state penitentiary.
  2. Misdemeanors are tried by magistrate judges in the magistrate division of the district court, and felonies are tried by district judges.
  3. Generally, criminal cases are initiated by the filing of a complaint based either on a police investigation or a citizen’s accusation.

A complaint is the document that sets forth a formal charge against the defendant. It is signed by the victim or other accuser, and the person signing the complaint must show reason or probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the offense.

  • Once a complaint has been filed, the court may issue either a warrant for the arrest of the person charged or a summons requiring the person charged to appear before the court at a specified time.
  • A warrant of arrest authorizes any police officer to take the person named on the warrant into custody in order that the person may be brought before the court to answer the charges in the complaint.

After a defendant has been arrested or summoned to appear on a criminal charge, he/she must appear before the court. The first appearance is a hearing in which the defendant is advised of his/her rights and the procedure that will be followed. If the defendant does not have an attorney at that time, he/she is given an opportunity to obtain one if desired.

If the defendant cannot afford to hire an attorney, the court will consider whether or not to appoint an attorney to represent the defendant after determining the defendant’s financial situation. Though often referred to as an arraignment, a first appearance is a separate court event. A defendant charged with a felony may not enter a plea at the first appearance but must do so at the arraignment.

This first appearance always takes place in the magistrate court. In misdemeanor cases, the first appearance and arraignment are combined so that the magistrate judge proceeds to take the defendant’s plea and sets the case for trial if necessary. In felony cases, the defendant must determine if he/she desires a preliminary hearing.

  • If the defendant requests a preliminary hearing, one is set within the time limits prescribed by law; however, a defendant may waive these time requirements if he/she desires.
  • A preliminary hearing is held only on felony cases and is conducted before a magistrate judge.
  • At this hearing, the prosecuting attorney presents what evidence he/she may have to show that there is probable cause (reason) to believe that a crime has been committed and that the defendant committed the crime.

If the prosecutor convinces the judge with that information, the defendant is “bound over”; that is to say, the case is referred to the district court for further action. If the prosecutor does not make an adequate showing at the preliminary hearing, the magistrate judge may dismiss the case or the charge may be reduced to a less serious offense, and the defendant will be sentenced accordingly.

  • If a defendant is bound over to the district court on a felony charge, he/she must then appear for arraignment before a district judge.
  • At the arraignment in district court, the defendant is again advised of his/her rights and of the procedures the court will follow from that time forward.
  • It is at this stage of the proceeding that the felony defendant may enter a plea.

It is also the point that bond will be set for the defendant if it was not set at the probable cause hearing. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the court will set the case for trial. If the defendant goes to trial and is found not guilty, he/she is released, and the previously set bond is exonerated or returned to the person who posted the bond.

If the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty, the next step is to order a presentence investigation. This is done in almost all felony cases and in a large number of serious misdemeanor matters. A presentence report is prepared by an investigator assigned to a case. It details important information about the defendant that will assist the judge in determining the sentence.

A copy of the presentence investigation report is made available to the defendant, the defendant’s attorney, and the prosecutor. By Administrative Court Rule 32, presentence reports are confidential and may not be disclosed to other parties or agencies except by court order.

What happens after formal arraignment in PA?

Pre-Trial Conference – At your Pre-Trial Conference, you will either tell the Court that you and your attorney are ready for trial, enter a guilty plea, or request a continuance. On Pre-Trial Conference dates, the Court (and our office) are very busy, because hundreds of people are scheduled for Pre-Trial Conferences during the same week. This is a day for exercising patience.

What is a preliminary hearing in Georgia?

A Preliminary Hearing is a felony defendant’s first opportunity to challenge the facts that lead to the issuance of a criminal arrest warrant against them.

What is the purpose of a preliminary hearing ____?

The purpose of the preliminary hearing would not be to determine guilt or innocence, but for the Court to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and I committed the offense.

What is the most important factor in deciding whether to prosecute?

The most important factor in deciding whether to prosecute is: if there is sufficient evidence for conviction. Most prosecutors have a screening process for deciding when to prosecute and when to ‘noll.’ Which of the following is a factor employed in this process?

What are misleading questions?

What is Misleading Question? Or argumentative question means that a question (a) uses logic in such a way that it deliberately causes someone to reach an incorrect conclusion, and (b) makes an argument rather than asks a question.

What is the first question to ask a witness?

How do I question a witness? You can start questioning your witnesses, one at a time, by asking them their name and asking them some background information, like how they know the parties in the case. You will then have to get into asking questions about the event they witnessed or any other issue they are there to testify about.

It is best if you can prepare with your witnesses beforehand so you know what they will testify about. This will also help you decide what questions you need to ask for them to relay that information to the judge. When you question your own witnesses, this is called direct examination. On direct examination, you will usually only be allowed to ask open-ended questions that do not lead your witnesses in a certain way or influence their answers.

“Leading questions,” where you suggest the answer to the question, are not allowed. Here are some good and bad examples of direct examination questions:

Open-ended (okay to ask) Leading (not okay to ask)
“What color is the sky?” “The sky is blue, isn’t it?”
“Could you please tell the court what you saw on January 15 th, 2018?” “You saw the respondent abuse me on January 15 th, 2018, didn’t you?”

ul>For each new topic that you question your witness about, you will need to establish how the witness knows the answer. For example, let’s say you want to ask the question:”Could you please tell the court what you saw on January 15 th, 2018 at noon?”You must first ask questions that help establish how the witness knows that anything happened at all on January 15 th, which is known as “laying a foundation.” This could include questions such as:

Where were you on January 15 th, 2018? Who was with you on January 15 th, 2018? Do you remember what happened that day at noon?

And then, after you laid this “foundation,” you can ask the important question: Could you please tell the court what you saw on January 15 th, 2018 at noon? After you have finished asking your witnesses questions, the other side will have a chance to ask them questions, which is called cross-examination.

What types of questions should you avoid when interviewing a witness?

Section III. Procedures for Interviewing the Witness by the Followup Investigator A. Preinterview Preparations and Decisions Principle: Preparing for an interview maximizes the effectiveness of witness participation and interviewer efficiency. Policy: The investigator should review all available witness and case information and arrange an efficient and effective interview. Procedure: Prior to conducting the interview, the investigator should?

Review available information.

This information may include police reports and crime scene information. It is important for the interviewer to have all information relevant to the case prior to conducting the interview so that the interview can be tailored to elicit the maximum amount of information from the witness.

Plan to conduct the interview as soon as the witness is physically and emotionally capable.

Once the witness is capable, any delay in conducting the interview should be minimized as there will be less detailed information available as time goes on.


Select an environment that minimizes distractions while maintaining the comfort level of the witness.

Distractions will interrupt the witness?s memory retrieval. Avoid interviewing the witness in an environment where distractions are more likely to occur, such as a place of business. This should be determined with the witness to accommodate his/her schedule and needs.

Ensure resources are available (e.g., notepad, tape recorder, camcorder, interview room).

Secure these items prior to the interview so the interview will not be interrupted.


Separate the witnesses.

Independent witness statements can be used as corroboration/ confirmation. Witnesses should not hear others? statements because they may be influenced by that information.


Determine the nature of the witness?s prior law enforcement contact.

Prior law enforcement contact may include an arrest record, prior victimization, warrants, or any relationship to/with law enforcement personnel. This information can help put any information obtained from the witness into context for the purpose of assessing witness credibility and/or reliability. It also can assist later in rapport development.

/ol> Summary: Performing the above preinterview preparations will enable the investigator to elicit a greater amount of accurate information during the interview, which may be critical to the investigation.

IMPORTANT: Clarify that this procedure involves general law enforcement contact, not contact related to this case. The purpose of this procedure is to assess the witness?s credibility.
Show Slide 24 >>
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/td> B. Initial (Preinterview) Contact With the Witness Principle: A comfortable witness provides more information. Policy: Investigators should conduct themselves in a manner conducive to eliciting the most information from the witness. Procedure: On meeting with the witness but prior to beginning the interview, the investigator should?

Develop rapport with the witness.

The development of rapport between the witness and interviewer will make the witness more comfortable during the interview process. Comfortable witnesses will generally provide more information. In the course of developing rapport with the witness, the interviewer can learn about the witness?s communication style (e.g., how the witness describes everyday events as compared with how the witness describes the incident). For example, if the witness appears nervous during the rapport development phase, the interviewer should not necessarily interpret nervous responses to later questions as being fabrications.


Inquire about the nature of the witness?s prior law enforcement contact related to the incident.

Prior law enforcement contact related to the incident includes interviews by other officers at the scene, participation in a showup and with whom, and so forth. This information can help put the witness?s comments into context. Do not ask about prior criminal record at this time. The interviewer should ask the witness if he/she has heard any other accounts of the incident (e.g., through the media, from other witnesses).


Show Slide 26 >>
IMPORTANT: Clarify that this procedure involves contact related to witnessing the incident, Do not ask the witness about his/her criminal record (this type of information should have been obtained during preparation for the interview).


Volunteer no specific information about the suspect or case.

Telling witnesses facts about the suspect or case may influence their memories of the incident. The interviewer must ensure that information from the witness is based only on the witness?s memory and not on any information gleaned from the interviewer.

/ol> Summary: Establishing a cooperative relationship with the witness likely will result in an interview that yields a greater amount of accurate information. C. Conducting the Interview The following is a summary of the order in which interviewing concepts should be instructed for maximum benefit. These concepts are more thoroughly discussed in Memory Enhancing Techniques for Investigative Interviewing (Fisher and Geiselman, 1992) (see Further Reading). After these concepts are explained, the 12 most important procedural points are listed as they appear in the Guide, There are four basic principles of interviewing cooperative witnesses:

Social dynamics between the interviewer and witness.
Facilitation of the witness?s memory and thinking.
Communication between the interviewer and witness.
Sequence of the interview.


Show Slide 28 >>
Play Audio Cut 3 and Audio Cut 4 (examples of two contrasting interview techniques): Ask students to hypothesize as to why one set of techniques works better than the other.
IMPORTANT: Explain the four basic principles of interviewing and why they are essential, Provide examples of how the associated procedures can impact the information obtained.

/td> Social Dynamics Between the Interviewer and Witness Two goals are critical to establishing appropriate social dynamics:

Maintain or reestablish rapport with the witness.
Encourage the witness to actively and voluntarily report information, rather than passively respond to the interviewer?s questions.

Establishing rapport When seeking to obtain information of a personal or intimate nature from a witness, establishing a personal relationship with the witness gains his/her trust. Rapport development will help the witness to feel more comfortable conveying personal information. It can be accomplished by personalizing the interview and by developing and communicating empathy.

Show understanding and concern. This can be accomplished by asking about the witness?s health, empathizing with the witness?s situation, avoiding judgmental comments, and establishing common ground with the witness.
Personalize the interview. The interviewer should treat the witness as an individual and not as a mere statistic. This can be accomplished by avoiding pre-memorized questions that sound programmed or artificial (e.g., ?Is there anything you can tell me that would further assist this investigation??) and referring to the witness by his/her name.
Listen actively. The interviewer should ask interactive questions that follow up on the witness?s previous responses, repeat witness?s concerns, lean forward, and make eye contact.

Active generation of information

Show Slide 29 >>
IMPORTANT: The following information on the four principles should be conveyed or read to the class. Include examples that are supported by audio cuts.

/td> The witness should be encouraged to volunteer information without prompting.* Because the witness, rather than the interviewer, possesses the relevant information, the witness should be mentally active during the interview and generate information, as opposed to being passive and waiting until the interviewer asks the appropriate question before answering. The interviewer can encourage the witness to be mentally active by directly requesting this activity or by asking open-ended questions. An open-ended question allows for an unlimited, narrative response from the witness (e.g., ?What can you tell me about the perpetrator??).** The interviewer should avoid interrupting the witness?s answer to an open-ended question.*** Encouraging the witness to actively generate information can be accomplished by?

Stating expectations. This is important because witnesses may not know what to expect or may have incorrect expectations of their role in the interview. The interviewer should state explicitly that the witness is expected to volunteer information.
Asking open-ended questions. These questions allow the witness to do most of the talking during the interview and can make the witness feel more in control.
Avoiding interruptions. Interrupting the witness during his/her answer discourages the witness from playing an active role and disrupts his/her memory. Rather than interrupt, the interviewer should make a note and follow up at a later time with any questions that arise during a witness?s narration.


Allowing pauses. It is important to allow for pauses after the witness stops speaking and before continuing to the next question. These periods of silence allow the witness to collect his/her thoughts and continue responding, thereby providing a greater amount of information.


Play Audio Cut 8 (example of good technique) Conduct role-playing exercises focusing on social dynamics and get feedback. Facilitation of the Witness?s Memory and Thinking Much of the information about the incident is stored in the witness?s mind. For the witness to remember these events, he/she must concentrate and search through memory efficiently. The interviewer can promote information retrieval in several ways:

Minimize distractions. The interviewer should ensure that physical distractions, such as noise or the presence of other persons, are minimized. In addition, the interviewer can encourage the witness to block out these distractions by closing his/her eyes and concentrating on the memory.
Encourage the witness to mentally recreate the incident. The interviewer can promote the witness?s efficient recollection of the incident by instructing the witness to mentally recreate the circumstances surrounding the incident (e.g., think about his/her thoughts or feelings at the time of the incident).


Tailor questions to the witness?s narrative. Because the witness is the source of information, the interviewer?s questions should be tailored to the witness?s current thoughts and narrative. For example, if the witness is thinking or talking about the perpetrator?s face, the questions should be about the face and not about other aspects of the incident, such as a license plate.* The interviewer should try to understand what aspect of the incident the witness is thinking about. Based on this inference, the interviewer should ask an open-ended question about that topic and then follow up with nonleading, closed-ended questions related to that topic. A closed-ended question is specific and limits the witness?s response to one or two words (e.g., ?How tall was he??). When asking closed-ended questions, the interviewer must ensure that the questions are nonleading. A leading question suggests an answer to the witness (e.g., ?Was his hair blond??).


Play Audio Cut 9 * (example of poor technique) Conduct role-playing exercises focusing on facilitation of the witness?s memory and thinking and get feedback. Communication Between the Interviewer and Witness The interviewer has investigative needs to solve the crime and the witness possesses relevant knowledge about the details of the crime. Both individuals need to communicate to each other this information. Otherwise, information may not be fully or effectively reported. The interviewer should convey investigative needs (i.e., the types of information he/she is looking for) to the witness. The investigator needs the witness to report the event in more detail than would be conveyed in normal conversation. The investigator should explain this need for detail to the witness to ensure the witness is fully aware of how to provide the description. Witnesses may have a very good memory of the incident but fail to communicate the knowledge effectively. Therefore, the interviewer should try to facilitate the witness?s conversion of memory into effective communication. This can be accomplished by encouraging nonverbal responses (e.g., drawings, gestures) to supplement verbal descriptions as appropriate. The interviewer should also encourage the witness to report all information and not edit his/her thoughts. However, the witness should be cautioned not to guess simply to please the interviewer. It is preferable that the witness state, ?I don?t know,? or indicate that he/she is uncertain about a given answer. Conduct role-playing exercises focusing on communication and get feedback. Sequence of the Interview To be effective in obtaining the maximum amount of information from a witness, the interview should be conducted in stages. The structure of the interview is first designed to calm the witness and gain his/her trust. The interview should continue with general instructions provided by the interviewer, followed by the witness?s narrative, and then relevant, probing questions by the interviewer. (Note: Ideally, information should be gathered using primarily open-ended questions. More specific, closed-ended questions should be used only when the witness fails to provide a clear or complete response.) The interview is then closed, leaving lines of communication open between the interviewer and witness. The following is an example of a sequence to conduct the interview:

Attempt to minimize the witness?s anxiety. Establish and maintain rapport. Encourage the witness to take an active role in the interview. Request a ?free narrative? description of the incident. Ask the witness to mentally recreate the circumstances of the incident. Ask followup questions to elicit additional information related to the witness?s narration. Review your notes and other materials. Ask the witness, ?Is there anything else I should have asked you?? Close the interview.

To review, the course structure should be based on the concepts described above and follow the outline: Social Dynamics, Memory/Thinking, Communication, and Sequence. At the end of each of the four sections, role-playing exercises should be conducted. Following are the key interviewing procedures as they appear in the Guide, Conduct role-playing exercises or practice interviews and get feedback. Use civilians as witnesses when possible. Principle: Interview techniques can facilitate witness memory and encourage communication both during and following the interview. Policy: The investigator should conduct a complete, efficient, and effective interview of the witness and encourage postinterview communication. Procedure: During the interview, the investigator should?

Encourage the witness to volunteer information without prompting.

This allows the witness to maintain an active role in the interview. Unprompted responses tend to be more accurate than those given in response to an interviewer?s questioning. Use a structured format (e.g., fill-in-the-blank form) only after you have collected as much information as possible from open-ended questions.

Encourage the witness to report all details, even if they seem trivial.

Sometimes the witness may withhold relevant information because he/she thinks it is unimportant or out of order. All information the witness provides is important.


Ask open-ended questions (e.g., ?What can you tell me about the car??) and augment with closed-ended, specific questions (e.g., ?What color was the car??).

Open-ended questions allow the witness to play an active role, thereby generating a greater amount of unsolicited information. Open-ended responses also tend to be more accurate and promote more effective listening on the part of the interviewer. The interviewer also is less likely to lead the witness when framing questions in this manner. Ideally, information should be gathered using primarily open-ended questions. More specific, closed-ended questions should be used only when the witness fails to provide a clear or complete response.

Avoid leading questions (e.g., ?Was the car red??).

Leading questions suggest an answer and may distort the witness?s memory.

/ol> Show Slide 34 >> Reiterate the importance of using primarily open-ended questions.

Caution the witness not to guess.

Witnesses, particularly child witnesses, may guess in an attempt to please the interviewer. Instruct the witness to state any uncertainty he/she may feel concerning an answer.

Ask the witness to mentally recreate the circumstances of the event (e.g., ?Think about your feelings at the time?).

Recreating the circumstances of the event makes memory more accessible. Instruct the witness to think about his/her thoughts and feelings at the time of the incident.

Encourage nonverbal communication (e.g., drawings, gestures, objects).

Some information can be difficult to express verbally. Witnesses, especially children and witnesses responding in other than their first language, may have difficulty with verbal expression. Witnesses? recall can be enhanced by encouraging them to draw diagrams of the crime scene, perpetrator?s scars, and so forth or to use gestures to demonstrate actions.
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Avoid interrupting the witness.

    Interrupting the witness during an answer discourages the witness from playing an active role and disrupts his/her memory. Do not immediately continue questioning when a witness pauses after an answer. During a pause, the witness may be collecting his/her thoughts and could continue to provide information, if provided ample time.

    Encourage the witness to contact investigators when additional information is recalled.

    Witnesses will often remember additional, useful information after the interview. Remind the witness that any information, no matter how trivial it may seem, is important.

    /ol> IMPORTANT: Emphasize the usefulness of allowing ?pauses.?

      Instruct the witness to avoid discussing details of the incident with other potential witnesses.

      Witnesses should not hear others? accounts because they may be influenced by that information. The independence of witnesses is important for corroboration of the information they have provided with other witnesses? statements and other evidence in the investigation.

      Encourage the witness to avoid contact with the media or exposure to media accounts concerning the incident.

      Media information may contaminate the witness?s memory. Media requests for a story or offers of compensation may encourage witnesses to fabricate information.

      Thank the witness for his/her cooperation.

      This reinforces the rapport that has been developed and the interviewer?s commitment to the witness, encouraging the witness to continue to cooperate.

      /ol> Summary: Information elicited from the witness during the interview may provide investigative leads and other essential facts. The above interview procedures can enable the witness to provide an accurate, complete description of the event and encourage the witness to report later recollections. Witnesses commonly recall additional information after the interview that may be critical to the investigation. D. Recording Witness Recollections Principle: The record of the witness?s statements accurately and completely reflects all information obtained and preserves the integrity of this evidence. Policy: The investigator should provide complete and accurate documentation of all information obtained from the witness. Procedure: During or as soon as reasonably possible after the interview, the investigator should?

        Document the witness?s statements (e.g., audio or video recording, stenographer?s documentation, witness?s written statement, written summary using witness?s own words).

        Documentation is imperative in the instance that the witness cannot be located later. Use of the witness?s own words ensures that the information is recorded accurately. Additionally, in some jurisdictions, the witness?s statement must be signed to be admissible in court.

        /ol> NOTE: These procedures are conducted with the witness,

          Review written documentation; ask the witness if there is anything he/she wishes to change, add, or emphasize.

          This is useful for clarifying the information received from the witness to ensure the information has been recorded accurately. This also provides an extra opportunity for witnesses to remember additional information.

          /ol> Summary: Complete and accurate documentation of the witness?s statement supports a successful investigation and any subsequent court proceedings. E. Assessing the Accuracy of Individual Elements of a Witness?s Statement Principle: Point-by-point consideration of a statement may enable judgment on which components of the statement are most accurate. Each piece of information recalled by the witness may be remembered independently of other elements. Policy: The investigator should review the individual elements of the witness?s statement to determine the accuracy of each point. Procedure: After conducting the interview, the investigator should?

            Consider each individual component of the witness?s statement separately.

            A witness may not have information about all elements of an incident. Thus, some recollections may be correct while others may be incorrect.


            Show Slide 42 >>
            NOTE: These procedures are conducted after the interview, without the witness,


              Review each element of the witness?s statement in the context of the entire statement. Look for inconsistencies within the statement.

              Note any inconsistencies for future reference. Also, note that the inconsistency of one element with another does not imply that the entire statement is inaccurate.


                Review each element of the statement in the context of evidence known to the investigator from other sources (e.g., other witnesses? statements, physical evidence).

                Note any inconsistencies between the witness?s statement and other information. These inconsistencies can be useful in assessing the accuracy of elements of witness statements as well as in directing the investigation.

                /ol> Step 3 examines the external consistency of the statement as it relates to other information obtained in the case investigation. Summary: Point-by-point consideration of the accuracy of each element of a witness?s statement can assist in focusing the investigation. This technique avoids the common misconception that the accuracy of an individual element of a witness?s description predicts the accuracy of another element. F. Maintaining Contact With the Witness Principle: The witness may remember and provide additional information after the interview has concluded. Policy: The investigator should maintain open communication to allow the witness to provide additional information. Procedure: During postinterview, followup contact with the witness, the investigator should?

                  Reestablish rapport with the witness.

                  The investigator should ask the witness about something personal that follows up on his/her previous contact with the witness (e.g., ?Has your arm healed??). Witnesses will continue to provide information to investigators with whom they have a continuous positive relationship.

                  Ask the witness if he/she has recalled any additional information.

                  This reinforces the idea that the witness is an active part of the investigation. Witnesses generally recall additional information following the initial interview.


                    Follow interviewing and documentation procedures in subsections C, Conducting the Interview, and D, Recording Witness Recollections.

                    Go back and review this material. (See pages 15?22. Refer students to Guide pages 22?24.)

                    Provide no information from other sources.

                    Witnesses may ask the investigator about information that has developed since the initial interview. Providing the witness with specific information obtained from other witnesses or from physical evidence may influence the witness?s perception of the incident.


                    Should other information arise following the initial interview that differs from, contradicts, or corroborates information the witness provided, this information can be clarified with the witness at this time. However, the investigator can present that information to the witness in a nonleading manner. The investigator can provide the witness with neutral information, such as asking if any vehicle was present at the time of the incident, NOT ?Are you sure there was not a blue Ford at the scene??


                    Summary: Reestablishing contact and rapport with the witness often leads to recovery of additional information. Maintaining open communication channels with the witness throughout the investigation can lead to additional evidence.

                    What happens after a preliminary hearing in Georgia?

                    If the judge is convinced that there is probable cause to believe that the crime was committed by the defendant, then a trial will be scheduled. However, if the judge does not find that the evidence establishes probable cause, then the charges against the accused will be dismissed.

                    What is a preliminary hearing in Iowa?

                    Preliminary Hearing—After the initial appearance, the defendant is entitled to a preliminary hearing to. determine if there is sufficient evidence to continue the case. Generally, the defendant will waive that right, and the prosecutor will file a trial information, which is a formal statement of the charges.

                    What happens at an arraignment in Idaho?

                    Idaho Criminal Rule 10. Arraignment on Indictment or Information (a) In General. After an indictment or an information has been filed with the district court, the defendant must be arraigned on it by the court. The defendant must appear in person at the arraignment.

                    The arraignment must be within 30 days after the filing of an information. If an indictment has been filed, the arraignment must take place: (1) within 30 days of service of the summons if a summons has been issued; (2) within 30 days of the defendant’s initial appearance in the county issuing the indictment if a warrant has been issued following the indictment, and if the defendant is not in custody in the county in which the indictment is filed; or (3) within 30 days of the filing of the indictment in all other cases.

                    (b) Right to Counsel. If the defendant appears for arraignment without counsel, before being arraigned, the defendant must be informed by the court that defendant has the right to have counsel either of defendant’s own selection, or if indigent, by court appointment.

                    1. The defendant must be asked if defendant desires counsel and if defendant is able to provide his own counsel.
                    2. If the defendant desires counsel and is found to be indigent as defined by Idaho Code § 19-854, the court must appoint counsel to represent the defendant.
                    3. No proceedings may take place before the appointment of counsel or until the defendant has had a reasonable period of time to obtain counsel unless the defendant waives the right to counsel.

                    (c) Arraignment. Arraignment must be conducted in open court and consist of reading the indictment or information to the defendant or stating to the defendant the substance of the charge and requiring the defendant to plead to it. The defendant may waive the reading of the indictment or information.

                    • The defendant must be given a copy of the indictment or information before the defendant is required to plead.
                    • The defendant must be informed that if the name that appears on the indictment or information is not defendant’s true name, the defendant must then state defendant’s true name or be proceeded against by the name in the indictment or information.

                    If, on the arraignment, the defendant requires time to enter a plea, the defendant must be allowed a reasonable time, not less than one day, in which to answer the indictment or information. (d) Method of Securing Defendant’s Appearance. (1) When the defendant’s appearance is necessary and the defendant is in custody, the court may direct the officer who has custody of the defendant to bring the defendant to court.

                    (2) If the defendant is at liberty on defendant’s own recognizance or on bail pursuant to a court order issued in the same criminal action, the prosecuting attorney must, on at least three days’ notice to the defendant and to defendant’s attorney, notify the defendant and defendant’s attorney that an information or indictment has been filed against the defendant and the time and place set for arraignment.

                    Notice must be given to the defendant either in person or by mail at the defendant’s last known address. (3) If the defendant, who is at liberty on defendant’s own recognizance or on bail pursuant to a previous court order issued in that same criminal action, does not appear to be arraigned, the court, in addition to the forfeiture of the undertaking or bail, may issue a bench warrant for defendant’s arrest.

                    What happens if the victim doesn’t show up to court in PA?

                    What Happens If The Victim Doesn’t Show Up To Court? – If a victim refuses to appear in court, prosecution can actually issue an arrest warrant for them. Additionally, if the victim does show up to court, but testifies that the violent incident in question did not actually occur, then they could be accused of and ultimately charged with filing a false police report.

                    1. In this situation, there is a possibility that your domestic violence charges could be dropped.
                    2. If the victim does not appear in court or admits that the crime did not occur, the state can occasionally pursue the domestic violence incident without the victim’s involvement anyway.
                    3. You can still be convicted of domestic violence without your victim’s testimony, because other pieces of evidence can be used to charge you.

                    For example, medical records, other witnesses, a 911 call, security camera footage and other evidence can prove that you committed the criminal act in question. Having your domestic violence charges dropped is no easy task. It’s crucial that you work with a lawyer who understands the ins and outs and criminal defense law in Boston and will stop at nothing to fight for your rights.

                    How long can you be held in jail before seeing a Judge in Pennsylvania?

                    What Happens During The Preliminary Arraignment – In Pennsylvania, criminal suspects are brought to the District Court within 72 hours of their arrest. This first appearance in court is called a preliminary arraignment. The judge will read the charges against you, inform you of your rights to have a lawyer and then set your bail.

                    • The judge will consider several factors in setting your bail such as your criminal history, occupation, and ties to the community.
                    • If the court thinks you are dangerous or not likely to attend subsequent hearings, the court will set your bail at a high dollar amount.
                    • If you present a severe risk of flight, the possibility of bail will be removed and you will have to stay in jail until the end of the criminal proceedings.

                    Offenders who present a lower risk will receive a low bail amount or in some cases an ROR (release on your own recognizance), which means you won’t have to post bail to be released. If you can’t post bail, you may have to wait in jail until the outcome of your trial.

                    What happens if you miss court in PA?

                    Understanding the Consequences of “Failure to Appear” – Failure to appear is addressed in Rule 1910.13-1 of the Pennsylvania Code: “If a party fails to appear at a conference and/or hearing as directed by order of the court, the court may issue a bench warrant for the arrest of the party,

                    If the court issues a bench warrant for your arrest, the police could pick you up, and you could be held in custody for up to 72 hours while you await a hearing. How likely is it that you will actually get arrested if you have a bench warrant? In most cases, the police will not knock on your door or try to locate you.

                    However, if you get pulled over and the officer sees a bench warrant pending, the officer could arrest you and take you into custody. In Pennsylvania, failure to appear for a scheduled court date can also lead to:

                    Forfeiture of bond Fines Driver’s license suspension

                    Can you get a bond at a preliminary hearing in Georgia?

                    Georgia Criminal Lawyer- What is a Preliminary Hearing? | Moffitt Law Okay, you have been charged with a crime and are sitting in jail, what happens next? If you don’t have a hold on you then you may be able to bond out (unless you are charged with a violent felony)(individuals charged with misdemeanors are automatically entitled to a bond); if you cannot get a bond then you will have a preliminary hearing.

                    A preliminary hearing (also known as a ” probable cause ” hearing, or ” commitment ” hearing) is a proceeding where the prosecutor must establish in court that they have enough evidence to detain the individual on the filed charges (i.e. warrant). The preliminary hearing typically occurs between ten and fourteen days after arrest.

                    The hearing is designed primarily for the benefit of those incarcerated individuals who have been unable to post bond, to ensure that they are not held in jail on unfounded charges. However, individuals out on bond are also permitted to request a preliminary hearing, and as a general rule an attorney should request one in almost every felony case regardless of whether the defendant is in jail.

                    If a defendant is in jail at the time the preliminary hearing is conducted and the state fails to establish probable cause that he or she has committed the offense, the defendant is entitled to have the charge dismissed and to be released from jail. If the defendant is not in jail and the state fails to establish probable cause the defendant is entitled to have the charge dismissed and to be released from the conditions of his or her bond.

                    However, a dismissal of the charge at the preliminary hearing does not prevent a grand jury from issuing an indictment against the defendant at a later date. Thus, a defendant whose case is thrown out at a preliminary hearing could still face the same charges again.

                    If this occurs, then the defendant will be rearrested on the same charge, and would have to post bond in order to get out of jail while awaiting trial. Although the defendant has the right to request a preliminary hearing, the defendant loses the right to the hearing if the state obtains a grand jury indictment before the hearing is held, or in some counties the defendant loses the right to the hearing if they bond out.

                    Thus, in some cases the prosecutor may rush a case to the grand jury as a tactical move to deprive the defendant of the opportunity to have a probable cause hearing. There are also situations where a case may be presented to a grand jury before the defendant has been arrested for any crime, and he or she learns of the allegations for the first time after a grand jury has issued an indictment.

                    In such a situation, the defendant has no right to a preliminary hearing. Although testimony will be presented at the preliminary hearing, the hearing is not a trial. Evidentiary rules in a preliminary hearing are more relaxed than they are in a trial. For example, while hearsay is not admissible in most trials and hearings, Georgia courts allow witnesses to present hearsay testimony in preliminary hearings.

                    In fact, it is common for the arresting officer to be the sole testifying witness concerning events he or she did not personally observe. In Georgia, the judge is permitted to find probable cause based entirely on hearsay evidence. If you have been charged with a crime in Georgia you have no time to waste.

                    1. Don’t just take a plea, fight for your life and fight for your freedom.
                    2. Hire the best.
                    3. Give us a call at 762-323-1460.
                    4. Defense attorneys typically use the preliminary hearing as a tool for gathering evidence about the case against the defendant.
                    5. While the attorney sometimes tries to beat the charge at the preliminary hearing (particularly when the defendant is in jail), many attorneys treat the hearing more like a deposition in order to find out in advance what the person is likely to say if there is a jury trial of the case.

                    The best way to handle the preliminary hearing varies depending on the specific situation at hand and on the needs of the particular defendant. The preliminary hearing is NOT a bond hearing, but for most charges, the defense attorney may request a bond be set, or lowered.

                    The Magistrate Court judge can only issue bonds or lower bonds on certain cases. If you are charged with certain violent felonies then only the Superior Court judge can issue a bond (learn more on that later). can be life altering. BUT, a charge does not equal a conviction. You have the opportunity to fight.

                    Hire a lawyer who will fight for you, not just take a plea. Give us a call, 762-323-1460 : Georgia Criminal Lawyer- What is a Preliminary Hearing? | Moffitt Law

                    How long can you be held without bond in Georgia?

                    2020 Georgia Code : Any person who is arrested for a crime and who is refused bail shall, within 90 days after the date of confinement, be entitled to have the charge against him or her heard by a grand jury having jurisdiction over the accused person; provided, however, that if the person is arrested for a crime for which the death penalty is being sought, the superior court may, upon motion of the district attorney for an extension and after a hearing and good cause shown, grant one extension to the 90 day period not to exceed 90 additional days; and, provided, further, that if such extension is granted by the court, the person shall not be entitled to have the charge against him or her heard by the grand jury until the expiration of such extended period.

                    In the event no grand jury considers the charges against the accused person within the 90 day period of confinement or within the extended period of confinement where such an extension is granted by the court, the accused shall have bail set upon application to the court. (Code 1933, § 27-701.1, enacted by Ga.L.1973, p.291, § 1; Ga.L.1996, p.1233, § 4.) Law reviews.

                    – For annual survey on criminal law, see 64 Mercer L. Rev.83 (2012). JUDICIAL DECISIONS Construction of “refused bail.” – Rules of statutory construction prohibit the phrase “refused bail” from being considered in isolation and, consequently, to limit application of the mandate of O.C.G.A.

                    • § 17-7-50 to the circumstance in which a criminal defendant has made a request of the court for bond and bond has been refused.
                    • The language of the final sentence of the statute, “in the event no grand jury considers the charges against the accused person within the 90 day period of confinement,
                    • The accused shall have bail set upon application to the court,” does not make a distinction between those detainees who are “refused bail” and those who are “without bail”; instead it states an entitlement to bail for the accused person who has not been indicted within 90 days of incarceration.

                    State v. English, 276 Ga.343, 578 S.E.2d 413 (2003). Validity of detainer. – Defendant’s motion for bond was properly denied because a purported detainer did not meet the requirements in O.C.G.A. § 42-6-2, did not constitute arrest and confinement of the defendant, did not require the presentment of the charges to a grand jury within 90 days, and did not entitle the defendant to automatic bail under O.C.G.A.

                    • § 17-7-50. Denson v.
                    • State, 317 Ga.
                    • App.456, 731 S.E.2d 130 (2012).
                    • Applicability and construction with O.C.G.A. § 17-6-1.
                    • Section was applicable to the first 90 days of confinement, and that section was applicable to all crimes after 90 days of confinement.
                    • After 90 days without bail and without indictment, the mandate of that section was that bail must be set by the trial judge.

                    Burke v. State, 234 Ga.512, 216 S.E.2d 812 (1975) ??? (see O.C.G.A. § 17-6-1). Applicability and construction with O.C.G.A. § 17-6-14. – Although pretrial habeas corpus was a proper remedy after the defendant challenged a failure to set bail, pursuant to O.C.G.A.

                    § 17-6-14(a), the defendant’s initial bond sufficed to provide for the defendant’s appearance upon the trial of the original charges; however, because the defendant was indicted within 90 days of the defendant’s re-arrest on new charges, the defendant was not entitled to habeas corpus relief under O.C.G.A.

                    § 17-7-50. Rainwater v. Langley, 277 Ga.127, 587 S.E.2d 18 (2003). Failure to set bail after 90 days of confinement without indictment does not require a reversal of the convictions on the indictments returned after the 90-day period. The proper procedure is to make application to the proper appellate court for bail pursuant to this section.

                    Burke v. State, 234 Ga.512, 216 S.E.2d 812 (1975). When the defendant spent 90 days incarcerated without having charges against the defendant presented to the grand jury, the defendant was entitled to have bond set. Rawls v. Hunter, 267 Ga.109, 475 S.E.2d 609 (1996). Hospitalization as “confinement”. – Because the defendant was under arrest, physically restrained, and under guard while in a hospital, the defendant was in “confinement,” as the term was used in O.C.G.A.

                    § 17-7-50; therefore, because the defendant was held for 90 days without grand jury action, the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s motion for bail on the charges for which the defendant was arrested. Tatis v. State, 289 Ga.811, 716 S.E.2d 203 (2011).

                    • When the defendant was incarcerated for 94 days before filing for bond.
                    • Even though the defendant did not petition for bond within 90 days of arrest and incarceration, the fact that the defendant remained in jail for 94 days prior to filing for bond was tantamount to the defendant being refused bail; thus, the trial court erred in denying the defendant bail.

                    State v. English, 276 Ga.343, 578 S.E.2d 413 (2003). Bail set only on charge in arrest warrant, not subsequent indictment. – Pretrial petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by a jail inmate was properly denied as both the trial court and the habeas court correctly held that the inmate was entitled to have bail set on only the charge set forth in the arrest warrant, and not the other six charges handed down in the grand jury’s subsequently issued indictment.

                    • Bryant v. Vowell, 282 Ga.437, 651 S.E.2d 77 (2007).
                    • Cited in Isaacs v.
                    • State, 259 Ga.717, 386 S.E.2d 316 (1989); State v.
                    • Coleman, 306 Ga.529, 832 S.E.2d 389 (2019).
                    • RESEARCH REFERENCES Am. Jur.2d. – 8A Am.
                    • Jur.2d, Bail and Recognizance, § 1 et seq.38 Am.
                    • Jur.2d, Grand Jury, § 1 et seq.C.J.S.
                    • 8 C.J.S., Bail; Release and Detention Pending Proceedings, §§ 85 et seq., 97 et seq.

                    ALR. – Abolition of death penalty as affecting right to bail of one charged with murder in first degree, 8 A.L.R.1352. Pretrial preventive detention by state court, 75 A.L.R.3d 956. Litigation of Variances in Criminal Indictments, 157 Am. Jur. Trials 187.

                    What is the time limit for indictment in Georgia?

                    In Georgia, the court has 2 years to file an accusation in a misdemeanor case and 4 years to indict a felony but once accused or indicted, the statute of limitations does not apply. Constitutional speedy demand is based on case law and the 6th amendment.

                    What is the purpose of a hearing?

                    A hearing is a meeting or session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress, usually open to the public, to obtain information and opinions on proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate/oversee the activities of a government department or the implementation of a Federal law.

                    What comes after preliminary?

                    Setting a Trial Date – Once the preliminary hearing is over, the case is ready to head to trial. The prosecution can move forward with its case against you. The court will likely get your case on the docket within a few days of your preliminary hearing, although the actual trial date may be several weeks or even months down the road.

                    What is the purpose of a hearing?

                    A hearing is a meeting or session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress, usually open to the public, to obtain information and opinions on proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate/oversee the activities of a government department or the implementation of a Federal law.