What is a preliminary hearing?

A:  A preliminary hearing is a short trial in front of a Tennessee General Sessions court judge who determines if there is a good reason (probable cause) to believe that you committed a criminal offense.  The prosecutor is not required to present all of the evidence that they have against you.  However, they do have to prove the basic elements of the charged offense(s).

Your defense attorney can cross examine the State’s witnesses, call witnesses on your behalf or submit evidence in your defense.  Occasionally, cases are dismissed after a preliminary hearing.   Most cases are bound over to the grand jury for indictment and further prosecution.