The preliminary hearing is often the first hearing following an arrest.
At that time, the local District Magistrate Judge will decide whether or not there is enough evidence to hold the case for court.
A summary offense is punishable by a maximum of no more than ninety (90) days imprisonment.
A misdemeanor is a “petty” crime, such as minor theft of up to $2000.00 or some driving violations. Some misdemeanor cases can be resolved at the Preliminary Hearing.
While a felony is more serious than a misdemeanor, some felony charges can also be resolved at the Preliminary Hearing.
An expungement is a complete erasure of criminal charges.
So long as a charge initially held against you is withdrawn, reduced, or if you are found not guilty or acquitted, you are able to remove the initial charge from your record. This is NOT done automatically by the court; this is an action that must be initiated by you or an attorney.