Some people mistakenly believe that preliminary hearings in Georgia criminal cases refers to every pre-trial hearing in the case. Preliminary hearings in Georgia criminal cases can be instrumental to the development of the defense in your case. What the preliminary hearing does is allow you an early opportunity to preview the State's case and evidence against you.
The decision made by a judge at preliminary hearings in Georgia criminal cases is governed by the following:
(a) The duty of a court of inquiry is simply to determine whether there is sufficient reason to suspect the guilt of the accused and to require him to appear and answer before the court competent to try him. Whenever such probable cause exists, it is the duty of the court to commit.
(b) Any court, other than a superior court or a state court, to which any charge of a violation of Code Section 16-11-126 is referred for the determination required by this Code section shall thereafter have and exercise only the jurisdiction of a court of inquiry with respect to the charge and with respect to any other criminal violation arising from the transaction on which the charge was based and shall not thereafter be competent to try the accused for the charge or for any other criminal violation arising from the transaction on which the charge was based, irrespective of the jurisdiction that the court otherwise would have under any other law.
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