A preliminary exam is a hearing with you, your attorney, the prosecutor, and any witnesses that are used to determine if there is probable cause that you may have committed the alleged felony offense. A judge decides if that burden has been met, and there is no jury present. These hearings are sometimes waived, and sometimes not. You can freely choose to waive a preliminary exam, wherein the case will be moved to the circuit court for further proceedings. You may choose to have your preliminary exam to see what the prosecutor's evidence looks like. Rarely does one testify at their own preliminary exam, as the goal is to get the prosecutor to reveal their cards, and for the defense to keep theirs guarded. Of course, every case is different, and plea negotiations may factor into whether a preliminary exam is necessary at all. As always, speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney to figure out how your case should proceed. If the preliminary exam is waived, then as stated before, the case proceeds to circuit court (more on that later). If the hearing is held, the judge may decide there is no probable cause for your case to proceed and will dismiss the case. Note: this is very rare! Probable cause is a very low standard and most judges, even if the case is not advantageous for trial on the prosecution's side, will still bind the case over to circuit court. When a felony enters circuit court, there is usually another opportunity to negotiate the case before it heads to trial. Additionally, your attorney will have an opportunity to file any motions with the court related to any legal issues with your case. These motions can be filed in both district and circuit court, giving you the opportunity for a circuit court judge to overrule a district court judge on any particular legal issue.