What is a preliminary hearing and do I really need to come?
Preliminary hearings occur when someone is charged by a warrant with a felony offense. The preliminary hearing is not a trial. The commonwealth presents some, but usually not all, of the evidence against the defendant. This often includes presenting the testimony of witnesses. The judge listens to the evidence and decides whether to send the charge(s) to the grand jury for indictment. If you are subpoenaed then you must come to the preliminary hearing unless you are excused.

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1. Who is my Commonwealth’s Attorney, and what does he do?
2. What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
3. What happens if I get subpoenaed as a witness and I don’t show up for court?
4. What if my employer does not want me to go to court?
5. Can I drop charges?
6. What is an “advisement” hearing and why don’t I need to come as a witness?
7. What is a preliminary hearing and do I really need to come?
8. What is a “grand jury” and how does it work?
9. Who can come be with me in court?
10. Will I have to testify in front of the defendant?
11. How do I find out which prosecutor will be with me in court?
12. How do I find out if my case has been “called off”?
13. What do I do if my court date is set during my vacation?
14. Who pays for my travel expenses to get to court?
15. Is there any financial help available for a crime victim’s medical expenses?
16. What do I do if someone threatens me for being a witness?
17. My husband promised never to hit me again. Can I drop the charge against him?
18. This is my husband’s 1st time being prosecuted for hitting me. Is there a way the court can do something about it without finding him guilty?
19. What contact information does the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office need for me if I am a witness?
20. What if the defense attorney contacts me?
21. Are there any registered sex offenders living near me?