hearing | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction

In the criminal justice context, a hearing is a legal proceeding where evidence and arguments are presented to a judge, magistrate, or another judicial officer to decide a  particular issue or matter related to a criminal case.

Hearings can be held for various reasons, such as to determine bail or bond conditions, to review the admissibility of evidence, to consider a motion filed by the defense or prosecution, or to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant.

During a hearing, the prosecution and defense can present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make arguments to support their position. The judge or magistrate then decides based on the evidence and arguments presented.

Hearings are an important part of the criminal justice process and are often held before a trial or as part of the appeals process. They ensure that all parties have an opportunity to be heard and that decisions are made based on a fair and impartial evaluation of the evidence.

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Last Modified: 03/06/2023


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