The preliminary hearing team handles the majority of the felony cases during the first stages of the criminal court process. These prosecutors attend court proceedings every day and handle bail motions, suppression motions, early admissions of guilt and preliminary hearings. Before a defendant has to stand trial in a felony case, he must first be either indicted by a grand jury or held to answer in a preliminary hearing. At the preliminary hearing, the prosecutor presents witnesses before a Magistrate who then decides if there is sufficient evidence to hold a defendant to answer for the crimes for which he is charged. The preliminary hearing team handles felony crimes such as armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, bad check cases, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, hit and run with injury, and residential burglary. The preliminary hearing team handles such a wide range of cases, the unit prosecutors have developed an expertise in all aspects of criminal law.
The majority of the members of the preliminary hearing team are senior prosecutors who have handled very serious felonies such as sexual assault cases, homicides, child abuse, and cases in which a defendant is charged with three strikes. The preliminary hearing team handles hundreds of felony cases on a weekly basis.
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