How do I get a lawyer?
If you wish to hire a lawyer but do not know one, or if you wish to defend yourself but want to consult with a lawyer, the Lawyer Referral Service of the local Bar Association can help. Check the Yellow Pages under Lawyer Referral Service.
If the offense is one that is punishable by imprisonment and you want to hire a lawyer but cannot afford one, the state may supply you with a lawyer free of charge, if you meet eligibility requirements. Contact a District Court commissioner at least two (2) weeks before your trial date. Contact information for District Court Commissioner's Offices can be found at: /district/directories/. If you require further information about qualifying for a Public Defender, call 1-833-453-9799.
n. in criminal law, a hearing to determine if a person charged with a felony (a serious crime punishable be a term in the state prison) should be tried for the crime charged, based on whether there is some substantial evidence that he/she committed the crime charged. A preliminary hearing is held in the lowest local court (municipal or police court), but only if the prosecutor has filed the charge without asking the grand jury for an indictment for the alleged crime. Such a hearing must be held within a few days after arraignment (presentation in court of the charges and the defendant's right to plead guilty or not guilty). Since neither side wants to reveal its trial strategy, the prosecution normally presents only enough evidence and testimony to show the probability of guilt, and defendants often put on no evidence at all at the preliminary hearing, unless there is a strong chance of getting the charges dismissed. If the judge finds sufficient evidence to try the defendant, the case is sent to the appropriate court (variously called superior/county/district/common pleas) for trial. If there is no such convincing evidence, the judge will dismiss the charges. In the "Perry Mason" television series, the courtroom scenes were almost always of preliminary hearings. (See: arraignment , information , grand jury )