As the name suggests, pre-trial motions are formal requests to the court made before a trial commences. They allow the prosecution and defense to present arguments, address legal issues and make requests to the court on crucial matters in the case.
If you are facing criminal charges, it is essential to understand how pre-trial motions work and how they can affect your impending trial. Here are some common pre-trial motions you may encounter in your case.
Motion to suppress evidence
This is one of the most common pre-trial motions. Here, the defense asks the court to exclude certain evidence from being presented at trial. In other words, a motion to suppress evidence challenges the admissibility of evidence in court. It could be because of an illegal search and seizure, a violation of a defendant’s Miranda rights or police mistakes when handling evidence.
If granted, the evidence in question will not be used against. This can be a critical blow to the prosecution’s case.
Motion for discovery
A motion for discovery facilitates the exchange of information and evidence relevant to the case between the prosecution and defense. This includes police reports, witness statements and expert or witness testimony, among other things. It helps avoid surprises during the trial and allows both sides to prepare their strategies.
Motion to change venue
Sometimes, it may be necessary to change the location of a trial if there are concerns it will not be fair in the current location. This is usually done through a motion to change venue. It may be due to excessive pre-trial publicity, bias in the community or other factors in the interests of justice.
These are just a few of the common pre-trial motions in criminal cases, and many others may be filed depending on the circumstances of your case. The crucial role they play cannot be understated. Pre-trial motions can make or break your case. Seeking legal assistance can help navigate such complexities, protect your legal rights and safeguard your interests.