Preliminary Hearing: Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?

This video features Frank Walker, a Criminal Law attorney based in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Defense Lawyer Frank Walker

Video Transcript:

Rob Rosenthal:

Should you have a criminal defense attorney for a preliminary hearing, or should you wait to see what happens first? Let's ask Pennsylvania lawyer Frank Walker for an Ask The Lawyers Quick Question.

Frank Walker:

You need a criminal defense attorney at the preliminary hearing, because that's the most important part, in my mind, of the criminal process because it's the very beginning. You get a look, you get a look into what the case is about. For example, in Pennsylvania, there is a criminal homicide. It encompasses five crimes: murder, one, two and three; voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. So the Commonwealth will charge it as a general count of criminal homicide, so at the preliminary hearing, you're facing five charges within one, so you get to ask certain questions and get people under oath, you get a transcript of the proceeding, and the judge has two things to consider. One, was a crime committed? Two, are you more likely the person who committed the crime? So you definitely need a criminal defense attorney at the preliminary hearing. You can get charges reduced, charges dismissed or the whole case dismissed, but at a minimum, you get the testimony under oath, on the transcript, so you know exactly what you're facing down the road should it get that far.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.


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