Pre-trial motions are one of the most complex and nuanced aspects of criminal law. When most of us think of criminal law, we think of the police investigations and glamorized trials that are blasted over the TV. While trials sometimes get all of the attention, pre-trial motions are where cases can be won and lost. Motions to exclude damning evidence, to compel helpful evidence, or to dismiss charges, are just a few of the potential pre-trial motions a skilled attorney can file on your behalf. Hiring a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer with experience drafting and arguing all manner of pre-trial motions can be essential to the success of your case.Motions to Suppress
If you are charged with a crime, it is possible that the police searched you or your property in order to collect evidence against you. In order to conduct a search, police are typically required to obtain a warrant unless some exception exists. Some common exceptions include consent to search, search incident to an arrest, or exigent circumstances where police conduct a search if it appears that evidence will be destroyed if they do not act quickly. The Constitution of the United States and the State of Florida, however; protect us all from “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
Police will often do whatever it takes to avoid having to apply for a search warrant. A vast majority of searches are now conducted under a warrant exception. Police are not lawyers though, and very often make mistakes when conducting these types of searches. An observant lawyer will be able to recognized these situations and may be able to file a motion to suppress evidence that was illegally collected.
Opportunities for motions to suppress often arise in cases where someone’s vehicle is searched. If you were pulled over illegally or if your car was searched unlawfully, any evidence collected from that search might be excluded from use at trial. The Constitution also ensures you the right to remain silent and the right to counsel. If police violate any of these rights when performing an investigation, a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer will be able to identify the constitutional violations and file the appropriate motions to suppress.Motions to Dismiss
In some circumstances, you may be able to file a motion to dismiss your case. The Constitution protects us from being tried multiple times for the same offense. If you have been charged wit ha crime that you have already been tried for, you may be entitled to a dismissal of your case through “Double Jeopardy.” You may also be able to assert a motion to suppress if the prosecution does not bring you to trial within a required period of time such as the statute of limitations. We also have a constitution right to a speedy trial. If you choose not to waive your speedy trial right, and the prosecution fails to bring you to trial within the speedy trial time period, your lawyer may be able to file a motion to dismiss the charges.
The most common and most effective motion to dismiss is known as the C4 motion. The name derives from Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.190(c)(4). C4 motions are often filed in complex cases where the line between what is and is not a crime is blurred. If both the defense and the prosecution agree on all of the relevant facts in a case, but disagree about the law, a C4 motion will be appropriate. At a motion to dismiss on a C4 motion, the judge will decide whether or not the agreed upon facts of a case constitute a criminal offense. Through this type of motion, a skilled Sarasota criminal defense lawyer might be able to get your case dismissed prior to a trial.Speak to a Sarasota Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Retaining a well-rounded criminal defense lawyer is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure a positive result for your criminal case. The lawyers at Hanlon law have a wealth of experience filing and arguing all types of pre-trial motions. If you or a family member is charged with a crime, call us today at (727) 897-4852.