5. Pretrial Motions (criminal):

     This page is continued from Criminal Proceedings:

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     Pretrial motions are brought by both the prosecution and the defense in order to resolve final issues and establish what evidence and testimony will be admissible at trial. [1]

pretrial discovery – conducted before trial to reveal facts, develop evidence and prevent parties from surprising each other at trial.

motion to continue – request a new trial date for a criminal case due to a logical reason (i.e. conflicted schedule, finding of new evidence, the case depends upon the rescheduling for some logical reason). — aka motion for continuance.

motion to dismiss – due to settlement, voluntary withdrawal, or one of several procedural defects.

motion to quash – request the court nullify process or an act instituted by the other party or previous court decision (i.e. nullify a warrant or subpoena).

omnibus motion – request multiple forms of relief.

motion to divide the question – to break a long or complex motion into shorter motions to be considered independently.

motion to remand – in a case that has been removed from state court to federal court, a party’s request that the federal court return the case to state court, usually because the federal court lacks jurisdiction or because the procedures for removal were not properly followed.

motion to withdraw – attorney’s request for a court’s permission to cease representing a client

calendar motions – reschedule court appearances.

Pretrial Motions
Pertaining to Discovery:

motion to compel discovery – force the opponent to procure all evidence they plan to present during the proceedings.

motion to suppress – prohibit the introduction of illegally obtained evidence at a criminal trial.

omnibus motion –  in criminal cases, a defense pretrial motion to suppress inadmissible evidence from being brought up during the trial.

motion in limine – pretrial request that certain inadmissible evidence not be referred to or offered at trial.

motion for protective order – request the court protect you from a potentially abusive action by the other party, often pertaining to suppressing damaging evidence.

Pretrial Motions for
Transferring Venues
to hold trial in a different court:

motion to transfer venue – transfer the case to another district or county, usually due to improper jurisdiction or local prejudice. — aka motion for change of venue.

motion to remand – in a case that has been removed from state court to federal court, a party’s request that the federal court return the case to state court, usually because the federal court lacks jurisdiction or because the procedures for removal were not properly followed.

Various Pretrial Motions:

motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute – dismiss case if prosecution cannot proceed, as when a critical witness or crucial evidence is missing and speedy trial deadline has passed.

omnibus motion – request multiple forms of relief; often used pretrial, in criminal cases, for requesting a hearing on various in limine motions as well as on suppression issues.

motion to sever – have your case separated from coparties or codefendants.

  • Byrd affidavit – in criminal cases, a defendant’s affidavit in support of a motion to sever on the grounds that a codefendant will give exculpatory testimony for the defendant.  Byrd v. Wainwright, 428 F.2d 1017 (5th Cir. 1970).

References:

[1]: Justia Criminal Law Stages of a Criminal Case: https://www.justia.com/criminal/docs/stages-of-a-criminal-case.html

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