Criminal defense cases are complex legal battles requiring meticulous preparation and strategic thinking. Behind the scenes of every trial lies a critical phase that can significantly influence the course of the proceedings: the pretrial motions stage.
An experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer from Broden & Mickelsen, LLP can explain pretrial motions and when we may file them. Below, we describe common types of pretrial motions and how they can affect the trajectory of a Texas criminal case.
What Is a Pretrial Motion?
A pretrial motion is a formal request the prosecutor or defense attorney makes to the court before a trial. These motions may address specific legal questions, procedural matters, or other issues that could affect the course of the trial.
Pretrial motions can significantly alter the course of a case, sometimes resulting in a case’s dismissal. Attorneys often use pretrial motions to put a client in the most favorable position before trial.
When Do Attorneys Present Pretrial Motions?
Attorneys seeking the court’s decision on a matter critical to the case submit a pretrial motion in writing. Then, they may present pretrial motions at pretrial hearings before a judge. Under the Texas Criminal Code, motions must be filed at least seven days before a pretrial hearing unless there is an exception for good cause.
Attorneys must carefully consider the timing of presenting pretrial motions to ensure they meet court deadlines and procedures and support their client’s best interests.
Most Common Types of Pretrial Motions in Criminal Cases in Texas
The most common types of pretrial motions include the following:
- Motion to suppress evidence – This motion seeks to exclude specific evidence from being presented during the trial, often on the grounds that the police lacked probable cause, illegally obtained the evidence, or otherwise violated the defendant’s constitutional rights.
- Motion to compel evidence or testimony – This motion requests the court to order the opposing party to produce certain documents, evidence, or testimony they have refused to provide during the case’s discovery phase.
- Motion to dismiss charges – This motion asks the court to dismiss some or all the charges based on legal grounds, such as lack of evidence.
Seek Legal Guidance from a Criminal Defense Attorney on Pretrial Motions
A skilled criminal defense attorney can use pretrial motions to their client’s advantage, directly impacting a case’s course. These motions often create opportunities for favorable outcomes and protect a client’s rights.
If you are facing criminal charges in Texas, the board-certified criminal defense attorneys at Broden & Mickelsen, LLP can help. With over 60 years of combined criminal defense experience, we are adept at filing pretrial motions that produce successful outcomes. Our lawyers safeguard your rights, challenge the prosecution’s case, and advise you of your rights. Contact Broden & Mickelsen, LLP today to speak with one of our experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys.