What happens after the preliminary hearing?
If the court issues a “holding order”, in most cases, the person will be immediately arraigned on what is called an Information – this is just a fancy word for the charging document (i.e. the document that lists those specific crimes for which you are being charged). If the person is not immediately arraigned, he or she will be required to come back to court within fifteen days to be arraigned on an Information that the district attorney will prepare and file with the court. Once the person has been arraigned on an Information, the case is set for a jury trial. Generally speaking, the jury trial must start no later than 60 days from the date of the new arraignment, although felony cases frequently require more time within which to prepare for a jury trial so that the defense can conduct a complete, thorough, and independent investigation, including interviewing witnesses, consulting with expert witnesses, if any, and sifting through all of the physical evidence the district attorney in
If the judge determines at the preliminary hearing that there are sufficient facts to believe that you committed the crime, you will be bound over to Superior Court (note that many counties have consolidated their municipal courts into one superior court). Once in Superior Court, you will be arraigned on the Information (felony complaint), which will be filed by the District Attorney’s office. Once again, the Information may charge you with crimes different than those charged in the original complaint. The District Attorney may file any charges he or she believes were proven at the preliminary hearing. Thus, additional charges with which you were not charged with can surface at this point.