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Q:

What are the differences between a preliminary hearing and an arraignment and an arraignment?

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The purpose of the preliminary hearing is for the judge to see whether there is enough evidence for the accused to stand trial on the charges that have been alleged. The prosecutor must establish 'probable cause' that a crime was committed, and that the defendant is the likely culprit. The purpose of the arraignment is for the defendant to formally hear the crimes for which he is charged, as well as an opportunity for him to enter a plea of either guilty, not guilty, or no contest. In some courts, the arraignment immediately follows the preliminary hearing. In others, the judge sets a future date for the arraignment. top What is a 'pre–trial release'? A 'pre–trial release' is roughly the federal criminal court system's equivalent to bail proceedings in state criminal courts. When someone is arrested on federal criminal charges, a pre–trial release officer is assigned to the case. This officer will review the defendant's personal history, such as prior criminal records, employment ... more
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