If you have been charged with a crime in New Jersey, and have already been arraigned, chances are that the next step that you will take in the process. For many people, it means gathering evidence to support a defense that they are trying to assert. For others, it may mean bringing pre trial motions.
A pre-trial motion is where a party asks the court to make decisions about what evidence may be excluded, what the boundaries will be regarding a particular witnesses’ testimony. Pre-trial motions are particularly important because they can be very influential in determining whether innocence or guilt will be found in a case.
This post will highlight some of the most common pretrial motions.
Exclusion of evidence – In a drug possession case, for example, counsel for the defense would argue that certain evidence found in violation of the Fourth Amendment be excluded as “fruit from a poisonous tree.”
Confessions to be excluded – In a murder case, the defense could ask that the accused’s confession be excluded because he was not properly read his Miranda rights before being questioned, or because questioning continued after the accused exercised his constitutional right to remain silent.
Dismissal - The defense could ask the court to dismiss the case altogether; arguing that the police did not have probable cause to make an arrest that led to the discovery of drugs or contraband.
Because of the crucial nature of pre-trial motions, it is important to discuss them thoroughly with an experienced criminal defense attorney.