cedar rapids / iowa city criminal defense

'In over 4,200 cases, I have never seen a preliminary hearing held.'

Pursuant to Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.2(4), the judge will schedule preliminary hearing within 20 days of the initial appearance (if out of custody) or within 10 days of initial appearance (if in custody) to determine if substantial evidence of probable cause exists to proceed to trial. In over 4,200 cases, I have never seen a preliminary hearing schedule—even when I demanded it. That’s because it invariably gets cancelled by the filing of a trial information.

The preliminary hearing is almost always waived and, if not, superseded by the filing of a trial information (an indictment) and the scheduling an arraignment. The arraignment is the date and time set for the Defendant’s answer to the formal charge, or, indictment.

Typically, the magistrate or district associate judge presiding at initial appearance will advise a defendant that the preliminary hearing will not be held if the State files, and the Court finds, a trial information.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for an Iowa criminal offense, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC for a free ½ hour initial consultation. Become an informed legal consumer today. 

What is the difference among the initial appearance, preliminary hearing, and arraignment in a Cedar Rapids or other Iowa criminal case? Contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC for a free initial consultation today. Become an informed legal consumer. 

The difference among these court appearances really is much simpler than it appears. An initial appearance is just what it sounds like. It is the initial appearance. It occurs 24 hours after an arrest and, if a defendant is in custody, like the Linn County District Court in Cedar Rapids, occurs on closed circuit video court on May’s Island with the Judge appearing in the courthouse and the defendants appearing on screen on the first floor of the jail.

deciphering the initial appearance, preliminary hearing, and arraignment in a cedar rapids criminal case

by David Cmelik

1450 Boyson Road Suite C-2A Hiawatha, Iowa 52233     319-389-1889