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What Can I Expect from a Preliminary Hearing in Ohio?

Updated: November 21, 2023
Antony Abboud
By Antony Abboud

Antony “Tony” Abboud is a partner and one of the proud founders of Gounaris Abboud, LPA. Mr. Abboud is a long-time resident of the Miami Valley. In 2011, Mr. Abboud was included in the list of Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠. Mr. Abboud has since been voted to the Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ list consecutively in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In 2012, Mr. Abboud was given a 10.0 “Superb” rating by Avvo, which is an attorney rating website recognized around the nation. Upon receiving a scholarship to the University Of Dayton School Of Law, he completed his Juris Doctor and commenced a successful law career as one of the Miami Valley’s premier and criminal defense attorneys.

Have you or a loved one been charged with a felony in Ohio?

If so, you’ll want to know what to expect from your preliminary hearing.

When a defendant is charged with a felony in Ohio, a preliminary hearing will be scheduled in the local municipal court.

According to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), a preliminary hearing determines if there is probable cause to hold the defendant.

This hearing also determines if the criminal case should move forward in the legal process.

Here, our criminal defense team answers questions about what to expect at a preliminary hearing in Ohio.

Ohio Preliminary Hearing: Understanding the Basics

What Is a Preliminary Hearing?

A preliminary hearing is a type of screening procedure. At the hearing, there will be a review of the prosecution’s evidence to ensure that there is reasonable cause to hold a defendant in jail or apply bond conditions.

What Is the Timeline for a Preliminary Hearing?

When a preliminary hearing is used instead of a grand jury, it will occur right after an arrest. Prosecutors must hold a preliminary hearing within ten days if the defendant is being held in custody or within fifteen days if the defendant was released from custody.

To protect your rights, consult with an experienced Dayton, OH criminal defense lawyer before your preliminary hearing.

What Actually Happens at a Preliminary Hearing in Ohio?

A preliminary hearing proceeds in the same way as a trial. First, the prosecution has an opportunity to lay out its evidence. For the defendant, this is a critical first look at the prosecution’s case. Under Ohio law (Ohio Revised Code § 2937.12), the prosecution must prove probable cause. If they fail to do so, the defendant can petition for discharge after the hearing.

How Should I Prepare for a Preliminary Hearing?

If you have a preliminary hearing in Ohio, seek representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney will be able to build a proper defense strategy for the trial.

Get Help from Our Dayton, OH Criminal Defense Attorneys Right Away

At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our Ohio criminal defense lawyers are strong advocates for our clients. If you or your loved one was charged with a crime, we are here to help.

To set up a free, no-obligation analysis of your case, please contact our law firm online or call (937) 222-1515 today. With offices located in Dayton and Springboro, we represent defendants throughout the region.

Contact Us

Contact Gournairs Abboud, LPA

For a free consultation, please call (937) 222-1515 or send us an online message today.

Available 24/7 & Obligation-Free