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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69593 Find in a Library
Title: Preliminary Hearing in Pennsylvania
Journal: Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly  Volume:49  Issue:4  Dated:(October 1978)  Pages:500-521
Author(s): S M Lehrer; H Lewis
Corporate Author: Pennsylvania Bar Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Pennsylvania Bar Assoc
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The history, characteristics, and principal functions of the preliminary hearing in Pennsylvania are discussed.
Abstract: The present rights of all defendants to a preliminary hearing in Pennsylvania are enumerated as Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure 141 through 149. Preliminary hearings must be held in all cases, and the defendant must be discharged if a prima facie case of his guilt is not established. The defendant must be present at the preliminary hearing. Furthermore, the defendant may be represented by counsel; may cross-examine witnesses and inspect physical evidence offered against him; may call witnesses on his own behalf; take written notes of the proceedings or have his counsel do so, or may make a stenographic, mechanical, or electronic record of the proceedings. Since the test for a prima facie case is not given in the Rules or in the statutes of Pennsylvania, it must be drawn from case law. Thus, relevant case law is cited to illustrate when a defendant is entitled to a preliminary hearing. Also discussed is the question of the right to a preliminary hearing raised by the proposed elimination of the right to an automatic trial de novo on appeal from a guilty verdict in the Municipal Court of Philadelphia. Footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Judicial decisions; Laws and Statutes; Pennsylvania; Preliminary hearing; Pretrial procedures
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