The Preliminary Hearing in Bucks County - Part 1

We've discussed the process in a Bucks County criminal charge, but it pays to discuss the Preliminary Hearing a bit more.  

The Preliminary Hearing is conducted by a District Judge.  These judges are elected locally and do not have to be lawyers.  They are, in general, very smart.  You will note differences in styles, process, and procedures, but most know what they are doing.  

As an aside -- If you are charged with a Juvenile crime, make sure to contact a Juvenile Crimes Lawyer in Bucks County to get the specific procedures.  

When you go to the court, you will first check in at the front.  Sometimes, it is the front window, the "window", or just the clerk staff.  Either way, make sure you let the court staff know you are present. 

Your Bucks County criminal attorneys should have a stenographer present to take notes of the Preliminary Hearing.  This stenographer can later create the "Notes of Testimony" of the Preliminary Hearing.  It can prove to be of the upmost importance in the future.  

The police officer or State Trooper who arrested you should be present.  They may individually conduct the Preliminary Hearing by representing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or there may be an Assistant District Attorney from Bucks County who will conduct the hearing.  Typically, the more serious the case, the higher likelihood there will be an Assistant District Attorney.  

Prior to the Preliminary Hearing in Bucks County, your Bucks County Criminal Lawyer will get a chance to talk to the officer/trooper/DA regarding your case.  There is potential to get a reduced charge or a consolidation of charges at this stage.  Other times, it is an opportunity to determine how the Commonwealth will be presenting the case.