High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Within some criminal
justice systems, a preliminary hearing (evidentiary hearing) is a
proceeding, after a criminal complaint has been filed by the
prosecutor, to determine whether there is enough evidence to
require a trial. In the United States, the judge must find there is
probable cause that a crime was committed. At such a hearing, the
defendant may be assisted by counsel; in many jurisdictions, there
is a right to counsel at the preliminary hearing. Contrast this
with some jurisdictions in the United States, where a person may be
charged, instead, by seeking a "true bill of indictment"
before a grand jury; where counsel is not always permitted.