Q: In DE County, at a preliminary hearing with the magistrate district court, can the charges/case be dismissed?
You would want to speak with a lawyer who can review all the circumstances surrounding the case, but yes, it is possible.
A judge can dismiss the charges if the prosecution does not provide enough evidence to show it is likely that a crime was committed and that the individual was the one who committed the crime. Keep in mind that if charges are dismissed, it does not always prevent them from being refiled at a later time.
The Commonwealth has the burden of establishing a prima facie case at the preliminary hearing. If they do not meet their burden of proof, the case will be dismissed.
A lot of things can happen during a preliminary hearing - including the addition of new charges. If you are serious about having a case dismissed at the preliminary hearing, you would be well served to be represented by an attorney.
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