Tahlequah Attorney BlogWhat Does a Judge Look For in a Preliminary Hearing?

A Judge Is Looking to Make Sure They Have Jurisdiction

Video Transcribed:  What does a judge looking for during a preliminary hearing in Oklahoma? Hi, my name is Ryan Cannonie. I’m an attorney in Tahlequah. And if you have questions about preliminary hearings or prelims, as we call them, then check out my other video kind of explaining what they are, going into a little bit of detail there.

This video though is going to explain what the judge is looking for. So a judge is looking to make sure they have jurisdiction, meaning that this happened in their county. This is a type of, it’s a criminal offense that this all falls within the scope of their power.

It also deals with the venue, which is more of the county issue there. It also looks at the elements of the crime. So whatever crime is alleged, there is a breakdown of elements. Meaning there are certain things that the state has to prove to prove you are guilty of that crime.

So a judge is looking to see if the state can prove those elements, even by just a very low burden, not beyond a reasonable doubt, but just that it’s likely that you were in possession of a controlled, dangerous substance without a lawful prescription, something like that.

And I’m not going through elements of actual crimes here. I can do that in a later video. But that’s what the judge is looking for. To see if they have the authority if it’s something within their court’s power to hear if it’s within their county and whether or not the elements have been met.

Judges are also looking for, especially in victim cases, or in cases where there’s an alleged victim, identity, whether or not the victim’s been identified. A lot of times, that’s part of the elements. You also have an identity component of proving that the person, the defendant, the alleged perpetrator, is the one that did it. Someone in court is going to have to identify you as the perpetrator.

Now that identification doesn’t have to be very elaborate. It can be, “Now, do you see that person in the courtroom today?” “Yes, he’s sitting at the table to the right in a blue shirt with glasses.” And the prosecutor will say, “Your Honor, let the record reflect the witness has identified the defendant.” That’s something that has to be done in these cases.

A lot of times date is something else, the time of it to prove this is not something that’s too old to prosecute. These are all things that a judge is listening for during a prelim. And it’s what your attorney is listening for during a preliminary hearing. So if the state forgets any of these components, then that’s a time where your attorney can get up and try to get your case dismissed.

If you have questions about preliminary hearings and what’s involved, or if you have one coming up and you want to talk to an attorney, then please give us a call, shoot us a web form, tahlequahattorney.com.

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