Dormont Defense Lawyer
A preliminary hearing is the first step in any criminal case involving a misdemeanor or felony. Whether you’re charged with terroristic threats or retail theft, your case begins with a preliminary hearing.
The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine whether there is a preponderance of evidence – a 51 percent chance – that a crime was committed and that the defendant was the person who committed that crime.
The preliminary hearing is not a trial. The defendant generally does not testify at the preliminary hearing. Only the arresting officer and the alleged victim testify at a preliminary hearing. Your criminal defense attorney then may cross-examine witnesses in an attempt to undermine their allegations and create a record for trial
To speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
In Allegheny County, the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program is commonly offered to most first-time, non-violent offenders. If participants complete the program’s requirements, they may get their criminal records expunged or erased. There are five goals of the ARD program:
(1) Clean Slate: To provide first-time, non-violent offenders an opportunity to have their criminal charges expunged
(2) Atonement: To hold offenders responsible while providing them an opportunity to atone for their criminal behavior
(3) Rehabilitation: To provide offenders with treatment options
(4) Restitution: To restore the financial burden incurred by the victim
(5) Efficiency: To enable the courts to dispose of cases in a cost-effective manner
To speak with a Pittsburgh criminal attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll fee at (800) 545-9390.