Before a criminal case can proceed to trial, the prosecution must prove during a preliminary hearing that probable cause exists. Unlike the burden of proving an alleged offender’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction at trial, a prosecutor only needs to demonstrate at a preliminary hearing that the evidence supports the belief that a reasonable person would reasonably believe that a crime was committed and the alleged offender probably committed it.
Preliminary hearings provide criminal defense attorneys with the opportunity to file any one of a number of motions in order to challenge to evidence in the case or the criminal charges in general. If these motions are successful and the prosecutor is unable to prove probable cause, an alleged offender’s entire case can be dismissed.
Lawyer for Preliminary Hearings in Brooksville, FL
If you were arrested or indicted for any kind of criminal offense in Central Florida, it will be in your best interest to make sure that you have experienced legal counsel for your preliminary hearing. The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. aggressively defends clients in communities throughout Sumter County, Pasco County, Hernando County, and Citrus County.
Brooksville criminal defense attorney Ashley Aulls understands the most effective motions to present and preliminary hearings and can work to try to get criminal charges reduced or dismissed. He can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (352) 593-4115 to schedule a confidential consultation.
Florida Preliminary Hearing Information Center
- What is a nonadversarial preliminary hearing?
- When can alleged offenders request adversarial preliminary hearings?
- Where can I learn more about preliminary hearings in Brooksville?
If an alleged offender is in custody, a nonadversary probable cause determination will be held before a judge within 48 hours from the time of the alleged offender’s arrest. This proceeding is not required if a judge previously made a probable cause determination and an arrest warrant was issued for the specific offense for which the alleged offender is charged.
If an alleged offender has been released from custody before a probable cause determination is made and is able to establish that the pretrial release conditions are a significant restraint on his or her liberty, that individual can file a written motion for a nonadversary probable cause determination. Motions for nonadversary probable cause determinations must be filed within 21 days of the date of arrest, and judges who find significant restraints on the liberty of alleged offenders must make probable cause determinations within seven days from the filing of the motions.
Alleged offenders who are not charged in an information or indictment within 21 days from the dates of their arrests have the right to adversary preliminary hearings on any felony charges pending against them. The subsequent filing of an information or indictment does not eliminate their entitlement to these proceedings.
At an adversary preliminary hearing, all witnesses can be examined and cross-examined—including the alleged offender if he or she chooses to testify on his or her own behalf. It is important to note that if an alleged offender does elect to testify, anything he or she says can be used against him or her at a subsequent trial.
If a judge finds that there is probable cause, then the case moves forward to trial. If there is a finding of no probable cause, however, the alleged offender is released from custody. An alleged offender’s release does not void further prosecution by information or indictment, although it does prohibit any restraint on the alleged offender’s liberty other than appearing for trial.
State of Florida Fifth Judicial Circuit — Circuit courts generally hear felony, domestic violence, juvenile, and other non-misdemeanor criminal cases in Florida, and the Fifth Judicial Circuit is comprised of: Hernando County, Marion County, Lake County, Sumter County, and Citrus County. On this website, you can learn more about the Fifth Circuit’s locations, judges, and rules. You can also find information about special programs and recent news.
Hernando County Courthouse
20 North Main Street
Brooksville, FL 34601
Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure — View the full text of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. Preliminary proceedings can be found under Chapter II, including information about preliminary hearings. You can also learn more about the time for filing formal charges, consolidation of related offenses, and severance of offenses and defendants.
The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. | Brooksville Preliminary Hearing Lawyer
Are you facing criminal charges in Central Florida? You will want to be sure to contact The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. before you attend your preliminary hearing.
Ashley Aulls is a criminal defense attorney in Brooksville who also represents clients in Wildwood, Weeki Wachee, New Port Richey, Inverness, Spring Hill, and many other surrounding areas in Hernando County. Call (352) 593-4115 or complete an online contact form to receive a consultation that will let our lawyer review your case and help you understand all of your legal options.