How Much Evidence Does the District Attorney Need to Present at a Preliminary Hearing

California law requires that every criminal defendant be given a preliminary hearing within 10 Court days of his arraignment.  At the preliminary hearing, the prosecution must present sufficient evidence to convince the magistrate that probable cause exists to believe that a crime has been committed and that the defendant committed the crime.  If the D.A.  shows probable cause, the magistrate holds the defendant to answer to the charge, and the prosecution must then file an information with the court within 15 calendar days.  If the magistrate finds insufficient evidence that probable cause exists, the magistrate must dismiss the case.  According to one Criminal Defense Lawyer in Long Beach, at the preliminary hearing, the magistrate must be convinced only of such a state of facts as would lead a reasonable person to believe and conscientiously entertain a strong suspicion of the defendant’s guilt. The evidence that will justify a prosecution need not be sufficient to support a conviction.  All that need be shown is some rational ground for assuming the possibility that an offense has been committed and that the defendant committed it

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