Preliminary Hearing

In felony cases, preliminary or probable cause hearings may be required, depending on the jurisdiction. After the arrest, the hearings are generally held at the jail or detention center, or later in court. Preliminary hearings are often heard in limited jurisdiction courts. The hearing rooms require the same elements as a standard non-jury courtroom. The size will depend upon the number of defendants. Some courts conduct detention and preliminary hearings around the clock and have co-located pre-trial staff, prosecutor’s office staff, and clerk’s staff with the preliminary hearing room to hear cases immediately. In this way the case is initiated at the first appearance. This, however, requires a special courtroom configuration with special types of support spaces to house the judicial and support staff. Special holding facilities are also required to accommodate the larger number of detainees.