Criminal Defense Law: What Are Pre-Trial Motions?
Were you arrested and charged with a criminal offense in Florida? There are few things more stressful and intimidating. Of course, a charge is not a conviction—a charge is merely a formal allegation. You have the right to defend yourself in court. That being said, few criminal cases actually go to trial. The Innocence Project reports that only a small percentage of criminal charges filed in the United States are resolved through a verdict. Much of your defense occurs in the pre-trial stage of the process. In this article, our Orlando criminal defense attorney explains what pre-trial motions are and how they can be used to protect your rights in a criminal case.
A Pre-Trial Motion is a Request for a Ruling By the Court
A motion is a request for an order or ruling by a court. In the context of a criminal case, a pre-trial motion is a formal request for the judge to make a specific ruling about the case. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys can file pre-trial motions. They are very important as the pre-trial motions (or lack thereof) help to determine the grounds rules for how a criminal trial will proceed.
Key Pre-Trial Motions that Can Protect Your Rights
Pre-trial motions can have a large impact on a criminal case. It could be the difference between charges being dismissed and a conviction. Some of the most common pre-trial motions in criminal cases in Florida include:
- Motion to Suppress Evidence: Your rights matter. If the police conducted an illegal search or otherwise unlawfully obtained evidence against you, that evidence may be excluded from court through a pre-trial motion.
- Motion to Dismiss the Charges: Does the prosecution have sufficient grounds to justify a criminal charge? If not, the case may be thrown out with a successful motion to dismiss.
- Motion to Discover (Obtain Evidence): Prosecutors have a general duty to turn over evidence that is favorable to the defendant. A motion to discover can be used to help obtain evidence that may not have been handed over.
- Motion to Change Venue: Criminal cases are generally handled by the local court. However, some high profile matters may require a change in venue to ensure the defendant gets access to a fair trial.
Comprehensive Criminal Defense Representation is a Must
Defendants who are facing serious criminal charges need comprehensive representation. A criminal defense lawyer’s job should start from the first moments after an arrest. Police and prosecutors waste no time in building their case against a person accused of a crime. Pre-trial motions are one important aspect of an effective defense in a criminal case.
Set Up a Confidential Consultation With a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida
At The Baez Law Firm, our Florida criminal defense attorney fights aggressively to protect the rights of clients. If you have any specific questions about pre-trial motions or your criminal cases, we are here to protect your rights and future. Contact our criminal defense firm today to set up a completely confidential initial consultation. With law offices in Orlando and Miami, we are well-positioned to defend misdemeanor and felony charges throughout Florida.