Article 30.

Probable-Cause Hearing.

§ 15A-611.  Probable-cause hearing procedure.

(a)        At the probable-cause hearing:

(1)        A prosecutor must represent the State.

(2)        The defendant may be represented by counsel.

(3)        The defendant may testify as a witness in his own behalf and  call and examine other witnesses, and produce other evidence in his behalf.

(4)        Each witness must testify under oath or affirmation and is subject to cross-examination.

(b)        The State must by nonhearsay evidence, or by evidence that satisfies an exception to the hearsay rule, show that there is probable cause to believe that the offense charged has been committed  and that there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed it, except:

(1)        A report or copy of a report made by a physicist, chemist, firearms identification expert, fingerprint technician, or an expert or technician in some other scientific, professional,  or medical field, concerning the results of an examination, comparison, or test performed by him in connection with the case in issue, when stated by such person in a report made by him, is admissible in evidence.

(2)        If there is no serious contest, reliable hearsay is admissible to prove value, ownership of property, possession of property in another than the defendant, lack of consent of the owner, possessor, or custodian of property to its taking or to the breaking or entering of premises, chain of custody, authenticity of signatures, and the existence and text of a particular ordinance or regulation of a governmental unit or agency.

The district court judge is not required to exclude evidence on the ground that it was acquired by unlawful means.

(c)        If a defendant appears at a probable-cause hearing without counsel, the judge must determine whether counsel has been waived. If he determines that counsel has been waived, he may proceed without counsel. If he determines that counsel has not been waived, except in a situation covered by G.S. 15A-606(e) he must take appropriate action to secure the defendant's right to counsel.

(d)       A probable-cause hearing may not be held if an information in superior court is filed upon waiver of indictment before the date set  for the hearing. (1973, c. 1286, s. 1; 1975, c. 166, s. 27.)