• Experience

    90 Years
    Combined Experience

    When choosing a lawyer, experience makes the difference in the fight.

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  • Success

    Top 100
    Trial Lawyers

    We have been awarded many honors, from Super Lawyers® to Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

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  • Devotion

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    Reviews

    Every client & their victory is priority to us as demonstrated through our reviews.

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  • Protection

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What is a Preliminary Hearing?

Ask a Harrisburg Criminal Defense Lawyer

A preliminary hearing is typically the first step after you have received your court summons, or after you are arrested in the Pennsylvania criminal process. This hearing, which is also called a "prelim," is the first opportunity for us to hear and see the initial evidence in your case. Short of taking a case to jury trial, we believe that the preliminary hearing is the most important hearing in the criminal process. At the preliminary hearing, the Commonwealth must establish that it has enough evidence to proceed with a criminal prosecution. The prosecutors do not need to prove your case beyond all doubt. Instead, they must simply show that a crime was committed and more likely than not, you are the person who did it.

Should I hire an attorney for my preliminary hearing?

Yes, you need a lawyer! If our Harrisburg criminal defense attorneys at Curcillo Law, LLC are successful at your preliminary hearing, your case should be dismissed. However, even when that does not happen, there are many positive benefits that can come from the hearing. It is a chance for us to lay a foundation for the defense by attacking the government's case, challenging witnesses, and committing the testimony to writing (through the use of court reporter), if we believe that is the best course of action to take.

In a great number of cases, the preliminary hearing is the first—and sometimes only—chance to have the charges dismissed or have the police witnesses cross-examined. At this hearing, we have the ability to ask witnesses questions, as well as the ability to call our own witnesses.

In the worst-case scenario, if the hearing concludes and you are still facing criminal charges, we will at least be able to determine the strength of the government's case, which will put us in a better position to determine the risk and likelihood of conviction. This will provides us with the information we need to properly advise of the best next steps for your defense. It is only after a review of the evidence that we are in a position to determine whether you should go to trial or work toward the best possible plea deal. We are here to guide you through each step of the court system in Pennsylvania.

Get the legal protection you need for your preliminary hearing. Call Curcillo Law, LLC today!

  • Experience

    90 Years
    Combined Experience

    When choosing a lawyer, experience makes the difference in the fight.

    Read Our Firm's History [+]
  • Success

    Top 100
    Trial Lawyers

    We have been awarded many honors, from Super Lawyers® to Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

    About These Awards [+]
  • Devotion

    Our Client
    Reviews

    Every client & their victory is priority to us as demonstrated through our reviews.

    Read Our Client Testimonals [+]
  • Protection

    Put Our Experience
    to Work For You

    Contact our firm today so that we can get started on winning your case!

    Consultation Form [+]