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Preliminary Hearing Cheat Sheet

judgeIf you have been charged with a major crime in South Carolina, you are entitled to a Preliminary Hearing. It is important for you to understand this process. The Law Office of Robert W. Harrell, III, LLC is here to help!


What is a Preliminary Hearing? 

A Preliminary Hearing is a probable cause hearing conducted by a magistrate. The purpose of a Preliminary Hearing is to determine whether there is enough evidence to allow your case to be forwarded to General Sessions.

 What are the Issues to be determined in a Preliminary Hearing

  1. Whether it is more likely than not that the crime occurred
  2. Whether or not the defendant committed the crime

What standard of proof does the judge use in a Preliminary Hearing?

At a Preliminary Hearing the judge uses a probable cause standard. This means that the State does not have to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Additionally, the rules of evidence do not apply. This means that evidence can be submitted in the hearing that would normally be inadmissible in a trial.

Are Preliminary Hearings Mandatory?

No. Preliminary Hearings are not mandatory. You also do not have to appear even if a hearing is held.

How do you Request a Preliminary Hearing?

To request a Preliminary Hearing, you or your attorney should request one from the court within ten (10) days of bond court.

 What should you expect during the Preliminary Hearing?

During the hearing the State will usually be represented by a law enforcement witness who will offer testimony. Your defense counsel will be able to cross examine this witness.

Do you have the right to testify or offer up a defense during your Preliminary Hearing?

No. During the Preliminary Hearing you do not have a right to testify or offer up your own witnesses. However, at the end of the hearing your attorney can make a motion to dismiss for lack of probable cause.

Should you have any questions regarding a Legal Matter, Please do not hesitate to contact Us:
843-636-TREY
843-636-8739
www.AttorneyHarrell.com

*Please be aware that the use of this Cheat Sheet does not create an attorney-client relationship. Attorney Trey Harrell is not your attorney until we agree to that in writing. This Cheat Sheet, along with any website to which it links, is designed for educational and informational purposes, not as legal advice. Each person’s legal matter is unique and requires the review of an attorney licensed in that person’s jurisdiction. Attorney Trey Harrell’s office is located at Harrell Square Center, 2000 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. #2002
 

How to Avoid a DUI on Memorial Day CHEAT SHEET:

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With Memorial Day coming up law enforcement in Charleston are likely preparing to set up checkpoints to help identify and arrest people driving under the influence. Follow these tips to help minimize your chances for an arrest this Memorial Day weekend!

  1. Have a designated driver. If you plan to drink during Memorial Day weekend, it is smart to have a ride arranged beforehand. Have a plan for a designated driver or use public transportation.
  2. Make sure your phone is charged. Charge phone before going out so you will have no issues calling a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft. These rideshare apps can be expensive especially on holidays, but they are a lot cheaper than a DUI.
  3. Keep track of your drinks and know your limits. Keeping track of the amount of drinks you’re consuming throughout the night and knowing your limit is a great way to gauge if you are okay to drive.
  4. Arrange an overnight stay with your host. If you attend a party Memorial Day weekend and are unable to arrange transportation, ask your host if you can stay overnight to avoid driving under the influence.

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We hope you have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend, but we are here to help if you happen to find yourself dealing with a DUI. Should you have any questions regarding a Legal Matter, please do not hesitate to contact Us:

(843)636-TREY

(843)636-8739

www.AttorneyHarrell.com

 

 



*Please be aware that the use of this Cheat Sheet does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Attorney Trey Harrell is not your attorney until we agree  to that in writing.  This Cheat Sheet, along with any website to which it links, is designed for educational and informational purposes, not as legal advice.  Each person’s legal matter is unique and requires the review of an attorney licensed in that person’s jurisdiction.  Attorney Trey Harrell’s office is located at Harrell Square Center, 2000 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. #2002