Omnibus Hearing? What’s That?

November 06, 2020

You made it to your arraignment hearing and discussed your case with the County Attorney handling the matter for the State. You think you may have been wrongfully arrested, searched, etc., and do not agree with any of the deals or plea agreements the County Attorney offered. Now what? You’ll enter a plea of not guilty and set your case on for an additional hearing, an omnibus hearing.  The omnibus hearing is the first time you can bring challenges in your case (motions) for a judge to decide. If your challenges are successful, the court may dismiss the charges against you.  You need to tie the facts of your case together with the law to convince the judge the prosecutor should not be allowed to go any further.  As you can imagine, this requires a specialized understanding of criminal procedure and supporting case law. This is why hiring a private criminal defense attorney can be very beneficial. 

            The omnibus hearing can be better classified as the probable cause determination hearing. Probable cause is a constitutional requirement that police officers and other state agencies must have before conducting searches or seizures of your person. Probable cause is also required when obtaining a warrant, arresting an individual, and having a criminal charge proceed to trial, to name a few. If probable cause exists for purposes of a charge proceeding to trial, it means that the judge believes the evidence being presented against you shows that you likely did commit the alleged crime.  

The omnibus hearing allows for the defendant to challenge the probable cause supporting the charge. The County Attorney has the burden of proving that each individual element of the charged crime is supported by probable cause. The Defendant and his or her attorney can make arguments as to why this burden is not being met. These issues are almost always extremely fact-intensive. Knowing which facts are important to highlight in your argument is key to successful omnibus hearing motions. A good private criminal defense attorney can be the difference in having your motions granted.  

Contact Private Criminal Defense Attorney Alec Rolain of Fowler Ditsch, LLC, to inquire about representation in your alleged criminal matter. Fowler Ditsch, LLC, has represented clients in criminal proceedings for 20 + years. Contact us by email at rolain@fowlerditsch.com or phone at 651-287-8883.

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