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Preliminary Hearings Chicago Courthouse—Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

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Preliminary Hearings Chicago Courthouse—Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

Chicago Criminal Defense attorney Matthew R. Gebhardt briefly describes what you can expect at your preliminary hearing.

In Illinois, most preliminary hearings occur at your first or second court date after being arrested for a felony offense. The charges most often subject to a preliminary hearing are drug cases, retail theft cases, felony driving offenses, some financial crimes and some violent crimes.

The main purpose of a preliminary hearing is for the Court to determine whether or not there is probable cause for the case to go forward. The State Prosecutor will introduce evidence at the preliminary hearing to support the State’s theory of the case and attempt to meet the rather minimal probable cause burden.

The Defense is entitled to cross examine the State’s witness and introduce testimony of our own. However, as this is not a trial, in most cases the proper strategic move for the defense is not to present evidence, only question that put on by the State. Even though this is not a trial and the normal rules of evidence do not apply, in most cases it is not appropriate to articulate our defense strategy at this time. The reason being is that any testimony we provide can be used against us at a later date. Therefore, in almost all cases, it is wise to let the State call as many witnesses as they may and paint each one into a corner as far as their testimony goes. For reasons like this, it is imperative to have your attorney working on your defense as early as possible in the case.

If the State fails to meet their burden at the preliminary hearing the charges will be dismissed. This does not preclude the State from bringing them back at a later date. If the Court finds that probable cause does exist, the case will be briefly continued to appear before the felony judge assigned to the case for arraignment.

At the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C., we strive to make navigating the criminal justice system as smooth as possible for our clients. We maintain consistent contact with our clients and are available to answer questions around the clock. No matter what you are charged with, we will work diligently to defend you, your rights and your freedom when appearing in court in Chicago.

As always, the Law Office of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C. offers free consultations for anyone charged with a felony offense in Chicago Criminal Court or any other municipality.

Preliminary Hearings Chicago Courthouse—Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

Main Office

555 Skokie Blvd.

Suite 500

Northbrook IL 60062

Office: 847-239-4703

Email: mrglaw@sbcglobal.net

Website: www.illinois-defenseattorney.com

Text: 773-383-8745

Preliminary Hearings Chicago Courthouse—Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

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