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A hearing refers to any formal proceeding before a court. The term usually refers to a brief court session that resolves a specific question before a full court trial takes place, or to such specialized proceedings as administrative hearings. In a hearing, evidence and arguments will be presented to determine some issue of fact or both issues of fact and law. In criminal law, a preliminary hearing is held before a judge and without a jury to determine whether the prosecutor has presented sufficient evidence to justify proceeding with the case.

[Last updated in February of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]