What Is an Evidentiary Hearing?

Counsel for Preliminary Hearings in Orange County

The evidentiary hearing is also commonly referred to as the preliminary hearing. This proceeding happens after a formal criminal complaint has been issued by a prosecutor. The purpose of this hearing is to prevent unreasonable arrest and detention by evaluating whether or not there is enough evidence or testimony to compel a case to trial.

This is the phase of the criminal process that is often extremely important to defendants; the right Anaheim criminal lawyer can be successful in arguing that certain evidence should be omitted from the case. Without certain pieces of evidence, a case may not have a "leg to stand on" and therefore be dismissed. At The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs, we have more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense, and know what it takes to secure your freedom.

Examining the Validity of Evidence

Evidentiary hearings are regulated by the laws found in 40 CFR 78.14. According to this body of law, not everyone is granted an evidentiary hearing; they must be requested. Your attorney can request an evidentiary hearing through a motion filed with the Statement of Objections. Any other party can file a motion for a hearing within 30 days of being served the Statement of Objections.

A hearing will be granted by the Ofice of Hearings and Appeals if they find that a genuine dispute exists regarding the relevance of evidence. At the hearing, each party will present the disputed evidence. All evidence that is not relevant, material, reliable or valuable will not be admitted for consideration in the case. Our Anaheim criminal defense lawyer can use a number of different strategies to contest evidence.

In order for evidence to be inadmissible, you must prove one of the following:

  • Evidence is irrelevant
  • Evidence was obtained illegally
  • Evidence was tampered with

What is decided through an evidentiary hearing?

The role of the presiding officer is to receive the evidence and rule on any objections. Essentially, he or she is determining the format of the hearing and setting the stage for a trial. The officer may take reasonable actions to exclude duplicative evidence. He or she may also limit the number of witnesses allowed, or require that evidence be submitted in trial through affidavits.

Ultimately, in an evidentiary hearing, a judicial officer must decide the following:

  • Whether or not a crime was committed
  • Whether the court has jurisdiction over the crime
  • Whether or not probable cause exists that the crime was committed by the defendant

At the end of an evidentiary hearing, all parties will know the charges and claims that are involved in the case and will have the assurance that all evidence is valid and admissible. Holding such a hearing can greatly protect your right to a fair trial in that it will ensure that no unrelated, unsubstantial, or unreal evidence negatively effects the outcome of your case.

30 Years of Experience on Your Side

If you have been charged of a crime and want to ensure that your charges are valid and supported by relevant and fair evidence, our Orange County criminal attorney can help you file a motion for an evidentiary hearing. We can object to any inadmissible evidence and fight to uphold your right to a fair trial. At The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs, we are proud advocates for the rights of the accused and are prepared to stand by you.

Call today to get started with your complimentary consultation!