Why does the prosecution usually win at a preliminary hearing?
The prosecution usually wins at the preliminary hearing for a number of reasons:
The burden of proof is fairly low. The prosecution does not have to demonstrate a great deal in order to show probable cause that the defendant committed the crime. As long as the evidence offered by the prosecution is enough to logically justify a guilty verdict if the judge or jury believes it, the judge will let the prosecution take the case to trial.
Judges tend to defer to the prosecution at this stage, because the defendant is not actually being tried.
The prosecution usually can use evidence during the preliminary hearing (such as hearsay evidence) that would not be allowed during a trial.
The defense typically does not put up a strenuous fight at this stage, most often for strategic reasons. Without putting on much or sometimes any evidence at all, it is difficult for the defense to rebut (or challenge) the prosecution’s evidence sufficiently to convince the judge to rule against the prosecution at this preliminary stage of the proceedings
by: Sara J. Berman