Ask the Lawyer in Nashville - Can I testify in my Preliminary Hearing?


Can I testify in my preliminary hearing? Remember, the preliminary hearing is only to determine probable cause!


Is it likely that a crime happened? Is it likely that this is the person that committed that crime?


The preliminary hearing has a very very low level of proof.


So, what is at stake here? Your freedom and whether you're gonna go to jail or not!

The district attorney has got to put on some evidence to establish probable cause.


Do you have to put on evidence during your preliminary hearing? The answer is, NO, you do not have any obligation to put on proof at your preliminary hearing.


Sometimes it is useful to put on proof. Sometimes you want to put on some proof. Maybe there is a witness that will not be available later on. Maybe you want the witness and you need them. There may be many reasons. Listen to your lawyer.


There may be many reasons why you want to put on some proof in a preliminary hearing but you have no, zero, nadda, not any obligation to put on proof in a preliminary hearing.

Should you testify? 99.9 percent of the time, No. Generally there is nothing to be gained by you testifying at a preliminary hearing. In 22 years of practicing law I can think of one time that I have encouraged my client to testify in a preliminary hearing. It is so rare because, remember, the only issue is probable cause.


Whether you did this or not is NOT the issue. Guilty or not is NOT the issue. The only issue, in a preliminary hearing, is it likely that something happened and is it likely that this is the person.


Generally I don't want you testifying. Can you testify in a preliminary hearing? Yes.

Should you testify? Listen to your lawyer.


Jef will I be able to testify? Sure if you wish. Can you testify? Yes. Will you testify? You know that depends on the situation.


I am Jef Goldtrap. I am a lawyer and there are many other fine lawyers here in Nashville, Springfield, Gallatin, Ashland City and Columbia, and all over the place. I am a defense attorney. I hope I have answered a question for you. If I have only confused you reach out give me a call at the office on the text number, send me an email, join Tennessee legal questions Facebook group, subscribe to my youtube channel. Reach out. If there's a way that I can help I want to help. Go make it a great day.


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