As a defendant in a criminal case, there are certain legal procedures that you should know about. One of the most important is the pretrial motion.
Pretrial motions are requests allowed in made by the defendant or the prosecution to the court before the trial starts. The purpose of these motions is to address legal issues that could affect the outcome of the trial.
In Utah, there are several common pre trial motions that defendants should be aware of. In this blog post, we will discuss these motions in detail and provide some helpful tips for navigating the pretrial process (which, ideally, your Utah defense attorney should be handling for you).
Motion to Suppress Evidence
A Motion to Suppress Evidence is a request made by the defense to exclude certain evidence from the trial. The basis of this motion is that the evidence was obtained illegally or in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights.
The most common types of evidence that are subject to a Motion to Suppress include:
- Statements made by the defendant
- Physical evidence obtained through an unlawful search and seizure
- Evidence obtained without a warrant or probable cause
If the court grants the Motion to Suppress, the evidence in question will not be allowed to be used against the defendant at trial.
Motion for Discovery
A Motion for Discovery is a request made by the defense for the prosecution to provide them with any evidence they plan to use at trial. This includes witness statements, police reports, and any physical evidence that will be introduced.
This motion is important because it allows the defense to prepare a stronger case and ensures that both sides have access to the same information.
Motion for Continuance
A Motion for Continuance is a request made by either the defense or the prosecution to postpone the trial. This motion is typically granted when there is a need for additional time to prepare the case or when there is an unexpected event, such as the unavailability of a witness.
It is important to note that a Motion for Continuance is not always granted and should only be made in situations where it is necessary.
Motion to Dismiss
A Motion to Dismiss is a request made by the defense to have the charges against them dismissed. This motion is typically made when there is a lack of evidence or when the prosecution has failed to follow proper legal procedures.
A Motion to Dismiss is of course not always granted, but it can be a powerful tool for a defendant who is facing unfounded or unjustified charges.
Motion for Bail Reduction
A Motion for Bail Reduction is a request made by the defendant to lower the amount of bail required for their release. This motion is typically made when the defendant cannot afford the bail amount or when the initial bail amount is too high.
The success of Motion for Bail Reduction is contingent on factors such as flight risk and the severity of the charges.
Motion for Change of Venue
A Motion for Change of Venue is a request made by the defense to move the trial to a different location. This motion is typically made when it is believed that the defendant cannot receive a fair trial in their current location due to bias or preconceived notions about the case.
Plea bargaining is a process in criminal cases where the prosecution and the defense negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution to the case. It involves the defendant pleading guilty to one or more charges in exchange for a lighter sentence or a reduction in charges. Plea bargaining is common in the criminal justice system and can be an effective way to resolve cases quickly and efficiently.
There are two types of plea bargaining: charge bargaining and sentence bargaining. Charge bargaining involves the prosecution agreeing to reduce the charges against the defendant in exchange for a guilty plea. Sentence bargaining involves the prosecution agreeing to recommend a lighter sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.
In conclusion, pretrial motions are an important part of the legal process in Utah. Understanding these motions and knowing when to use them can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. If you are facing criminal charges, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can guide you through the pretrial process and help you achieve the best possible outcome.
If you need a Utah defense attorney, contact MZJ today.