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5 Pre-Trial Motions That Can Help Your Criminal Case


5 Pre-Trial Motions That Can Help Your Criminal Case

Did you know that a lot of the work on your criminal case takes place before the trial? If you intend to take your case all the way to trial without plea bargaining then your attorney is often already talking to the court long before witnesses start taking the stand.

A pretrial motion is a request that the attorney is making to the judge requesting that the court make decisions about certain issues before the trial begins. These motions may absolutely be made in misdemeanor cases as well as felony cases.

Here are some of the motions that might be made on your behalf. 

#1) Motion to Suppress Evidence

Some evidence should never make it to the jury. This includes:

  • Illegally obtained evidence, as in an illegal search and seizure. 
  • Evidence based on improperly conducted police lineups or photo lineups.
  • Evidence obtained during an illegal arrest.

These motions may create specific single-issue hearings to discuss these motions in front of a judge. 

#2) Motion to Suppress a Defendant’s Statement

If police got a confession out of you then your attorney might be able to get the statement suppressed. This can happen if the police physically abused you, if you weren’t properly advised of your 5th Amendment rights, or if you were threatened or pressured in a way that violates the law.

This is difficult because police are legally allowed to do and say a great deal in an interrogation room. This is why you want to make sure you never talk to the police.

#3) Motion to Disclose Identity

If a prosecutor’s case hinges on a particular informant they often try to hide that information. When they do it can be difficult for your defense lawyer to craft a defense against that statement.

Thus your attorney will try to force the prosecution to give up this information so that they can investigate that person for the purposes of cross examining them. 

#4) Motion for Discovery

Prosecutors are supposed to turn over exculpatory evidence anyway, but there are times when your defense attorney may suspect the prosecutors are holding back on them. When this happens they can ask the court to try to force prosecutors to do the right thing. #5) Motion to Dismiss

When the prosecution doesn’t have a very strong case and is unwilling to work with defense attorneys to dismiss that case then a motion to dismiss is one of the first things we’ll try. Sometimes we can’t get all the charges dismissed but can get some of them dismissed, and that’s still a help to our clients as well. 

Sometimes we file a motion to dismiss when your right to a speedy trial has been violated, or when we have some other grounds to challenge the constitutionality of your case.

Get Help Today

As you can see having a dedicated criminal defense attorney on your side can make a big difference. We have the time and energy to really dig into your case and to give it our full attention so that we don’t miss opportunities to strengthen it. A public defender may not have the time or the attention to put into filing all of the pretrial motions they could be filing just because they are often overwhelmed and often run out of time.

Hiring our firm is more affordable than you might think. If you or a loved one is in trouble with the law, call Scott Russell Law today. 

See also:

Why You Shouldn’t Talk About Your Criminal Case

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking a Plea Bargain?

What Happens When Charges Get Dropped in an NY Criminal Case?

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