What is an omnibus hearing?

An omnibus hearing is a pretrial hearing on evidentiary issues in felony and gross misdemeanor cases.  The hearing may be contested or uncontested. 

The defendant and his attorney will be at the omnibus hearing along with a prosecutor from the County Attorney’s Office. At an uncontested omnibus hearing, the defendant may waive the hearing, enter a not guilty plea, and the matter will be set for a jury trial. The defendant may also plead guilty at the uncontested omnibus hearing. A third alternative at the uncontested omnibus hearing is for the presiding judge to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial based on a reading of the police reports in the district court file.

At a contested omnibus hearing, there is usually testimony from law enforcement officers about the facts being relied upon for probable cause; about statements taken from the defendant; and/or about evidence seized from the defendant. Based on this testimony the district court judge is asked to make a decision whether there is sufficient probable cause for the defendant to stand trial, as well as whether statements and other evidence obtained from the defendant by law enforcement officers are admissible evidence at trial. Only if the judge determines there is insufficient facts for probable cause will the case be dismissed. Otherwise a trial, guilty plea, or other resolution will follow the omnibus hearing.

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1. What is a subpoena?
2. How does a complaint become a criminal case?
3. What is an omnibus hearing?
4. What if the judge decides there is not sufficient evidence at the omnibus hearing?
5. Do cases always go to trial if they are not dismissed?
6. What happens in a trial?
7. How and when is sentencing determined?
8. What if I change my mind about prosecuting or testifying?
9. What if the defense attorney contacts me about the case?
10. What if someone threatens me to drop the charges?
11. Should I be concerned if months pass without hearing from the court or the County Attorney’s Office?
12. Coming to Court – Can I be compensated?
13. Can I be compensated for losses I have suffered as a victim?