A motion is an application to the court made by the prosecutor or defense attorney, requesting that the court make a decision on a certain issue before the trial begins. The motion can affect the trial, courtroom, defendants, evidence, or testimony. Pre-trial motions are made to secure or exclude evidence, change venue, or end the case. Pre-trial preparations can help you change or reduce charges, strike evidence from what can be used in court, and let you in on what the prosecution will leverage against you. These motions are made by attorneys on either side after a preliminary or initial pretrial hearing and before a criminal case goes to trial. Only judges decide the outcome of motions.
Common pretrial motions include:
- Motion to suppress.
- Discovery Motion.
- Motion to change venue.
- Motion to dismiss.
- Motion to disclose the identity of the informant.
- Motion to modify bail.
All motions relating to defects in the charging document shall be made at the Pre-Trial Conference, or they are waived. No such matter shall be revisited once waived. All motions relating to irregularities or informalities in the charging document, or factual disputes, may be denied without prejudice and noted on the file, but may be raised again only during a trial of the case.
When Are Pre-Trial Motions Made?
There are several hearings before a case finally goes to trial:
- There may be an initial hearing, or arraignment hearing, where the accused hears the charges against them.
- There may be a bail hearing where a judge sets bail or denies bail.
- There may be an initial pretrial conference where the two sides report on the status of the case, secure or exclude evidence, change venue, or attempt to end the case.
- There may be a final pretrial conference before the trial.
Preparation is the key to success in any court case, especially one that is headed for a trial. Which pretrial motions will be most effective depends entirely on the facts of your case and the applicable law. The best way to determine which pre-trial motions to file is to consult with a local criminal defense attorney like Attorney Russell Spatz, who has over four decades of experience in this matter and can investigate your case, answer any questions you may have, and file the motions on your behalf.
To meet with Attorney Russell Spatz to discuss your criminal matter, please call the Spatz Law Firm, PL, at 305-442-0200.