What is a preliminary hearing?
A preliminary hearing is where the State must prove to a neutral magistrate that there is `probable cause` to believe that a crime has been committed, and that there is `probable cause` to believe that the accused committed the offense. This burden of proof must be met for the case to continue into District Court. The burden of proof, `probable cause`, is lower than required at a trial. At trial, the State has the burden of proving every element of the offense "beyond a reasonable doubt".