Hearings: Confession

A Confession Hearing (commonly known as a 3.5 hearing in lawyer-speak), is a hearing where the court decides whether or not a statement made by a defendant is admissible at trial.  This hearing is usually scheduled by the court at the omnibus hearing when the state informs the court and the defendant that it will try to use something the defendant said to a law enforcement officer as evidence in the trial. 

If the court bars the statements made by a defendant at trial, it may result in a dismissal of the case depending on the nature of the case and if there is other evidence of a crime.  A defendant can testify at the confession hearing, however it is not required.  If the defendant testifies at the hearing, it is not a requirement that the defendent testify at the trial.