I have been arrested.  What happens now?

What happens at a preliminary hearing?

If your criminal charges are in state court (all charges other than misdemeanors in municipal court), your case will commence in district court.  How your case proceeds after that depends on whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. 

Misdemeanor Charges: Your case will be set for a bench trial.  Your attorney can make a written request that the prosecutor allow the defense to inspect and copy documents and information that is identified as discoverable in Rule 16.1 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure

Felony Charges: If one or more of your criminal charges is a felony (and any misdemeanors arise out of the same set of , the next hearing that you may have is called a preliminary hearing.  You must must a written demand to invoke your right a preliminary hearing within thirty (30) days from your date of arrest.  If you do not make a demand, the case will continue on to the grand jury.  If you make your written demand within the required time limit, the Court must set a preliminary hearing within twenty-one days (21) from the date that you made your demand. See Ala. R. Crim. P. 5.1.