Thursday, December 18, 2014

Stop a Trial Before it Begins: Pre-Trial Motions

People often think that once they’ve been charged, they’ll eventually end up in a trial. However, that doesn’t have to be the only outcome. With a skilled criminal defense lawyer at your side, you may be able to avoid going to trial. Depending on the circumstances, your attorney may be able to file a pre-trial motion that stops a case escalating to the next step. Here are some of the reasons your lawyer can use to have your case dismissed:

  • No Probable Cause. When a police makes an arrest, the officer has to prove that he or she has a good reason for that arrest. Police officers cannot just arrest people based on a hunch. For example, it’s late and you’re hungry for a snack. You step into a nearby convenience store and you’re unlucky enough to get inside in the wake of a robbery. If the police arrests you for any reason related to the robbery because you look suspicious, then you can have the case against you dismissed.
  • Illegal Stop and Search. This requirement carries over when you are in a vehicle or on the street. A police officer cannot stop you unless he (or she) is reasonably sure that a crime has occurred. Beyond that, a lawyer can raise the unconstitutionality of the arrest, and use that and other mitigating circumstances as grounds for case dismissal.
  • Insufficient Evidence. To prove your guilt, the prosecution must be able to provide evidence for it. Your lawyer can request for a case dismissal on the basis that the prosecution doesn’t have enough evidence to prove your guilt.

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