Getting arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. Police misconduct, defective breathalyzers and crime lab mistakes may be enough to get your charges lessened or dismissed. Visit our page on Colorado DUI Laws to learn more.
A motion hearing in a Colorado criminal case is a court hearing that typically takes place in preparation for a scheduled jury trial. Courts schedule motion hearings after either the prosecution or defense files a motion, which is a request for the court to take a certain action. The hearing is where the defense and prosecution can argue in open court for and against this request, and the judge can ask both sides questions about the motion.
Oftentimes the judge makes a decision on a motion at the end of the hearing. Other times, the judge takes the matter under advisement and issues a decision at a later date. In a few cases, the judge decides a motion without a court appearance at all. The judge instead relies solely on the two sides’ written motions and responses. Either way, the prosecution and the defense have to follow the judge’s decision moving forward.
One of the most common types of motions is the motion to suppress evidence. In these cases, the defense attorney typically accuses the police officers of having committed an illegal search and seizure (often by not having a valid search warrant). And the defense attorney argues that any evidence that law enforcement officers found from that unconstitutional search should be excluded as evidence.
Another common motion is a motion to dismiss the case. Typical grounds are that the criminal statute is unconstitutional, that the statute of limitations has run, that the police lacked probable cause to make an arrest or to secure an arrest warrant, or that the charge violates double jeopardy laws.
Ten other types of pretrial motions in criminal cases include:
The vast majority of cases in the criminal justice system resolve through a plea agreement rather than a trial by jury (or a bench trial). Even many felony cases that go to preliminary hearing get resolved during a pretrial conference.
But even though most criminal cases in the legal system settle, motions are not a waste of time. How the judge decides the motions steers how the D.A. and defense counsel ultimately resolve the case.
For instance if the judge consistently grants the defense attorney’s motions and issues court orders in the defendant’s favor, the prosecutors may doubt their ability to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. They may then be more likely to drop the charges or else offer a favorable plea bargain.
Facing a felony charge, misdemeanor charge, or petty offense charge? Our criminal defense attorneys offer free consultations on how we protect your constitutional rights and fight to get your case reduced or dismissed. We appear in county courts and district courts in Denver, Colorado Springs, and throughout the state of Colorado
Michael Becker has over a quarter-century's worth of experience as an attorney and more than 100 trials under his belt. He is a sought-after legal commentator and is licensed to practice law in Colorado, Nevada, California, and Florida.
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