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Pre-trial Motions: Effective Pretrial Motions Can Lead to a Dismissal of Dui or Criminal Charges

“Never underestimate the power of an effective pre-trial motion.”

Pre-trial Motions Defined

Rule 16 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure governs Pre-trial motion practices for both the prosecution and defense in DUI or criminal case. They take place following the defendant’s arraignment and prior to trial, and set limits or boundaries for trial. After a pre-trial motion has been filed, a short hearing will be held with the Judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney. The court will allow both sides to argue their position, and then the judge will rule on it (grant or deny). Trial may not commence until the issue (s) raised in the pre-trial motion are resolved.

Examples of Pre-trial Motions: For Defense of DUI charges in Mesa

Motions will be filed based on the given circumstances of a DUI or criminal charges. Below are few common motions that your attorney may file on behalf of defense, prior to your trial:

  • Modify Release Conditions that are unduly harsh or unjustified;
  • To reduce the charges from a Felony to Misdemeanor;
  • Prohibit use of  prior conviction;
  • To exclude certain evidence or testimony from being admitted (suppression);
  • Motion for complete dismissal of charges

There are a multitude of reasons why defense may move to file any of these motions. In order for the court to grant it, however, there must be an effective argument; legal research and authority to support the motion.

Arizona Rules of Procedure – Criminal Court Provisions

Criminal Rule of Procedure 16 contains certain requirements or provisions that must be met:

  • Motions must be made no later than 20 days prior to trial;
  • The opposition has 10 days for which to file their response (unless they waive it with cause or miss the deadline);
  • Motions to dismiss charges for “lack of jurisdiction” may be raised at any time.
  • A hearing may be scheduled if either parties request it within 45 days of the arraignment in the Superior Court; or 10 days after receipt of disclosure under Rule 15 whichever is later; or as ordered by the court in the case of the court’s motion.
  • The date of the hearing no later than 20 days before the trial date.

Any motion, defense, or objection, not made timely will be precluded. Exceptions may be granted by at the discretion of the court if reasonable diligence was exercised.

Tips for Effective Pre-trial Motions in Mesa, AZ 

  • They are most effective when determined and filed by an experienced criminal defense attorney
  • Do not file frivolous motions – Motions must be plausible and material;
  • Pre-trial motions must be filed early;
  • Adequate legal research, and proper legal citation must be included in the motion;
  • Opportunity for a plausible and justifiable pre-trial motions, are often found in the details;
  • Experienced trial lawyers never underestimate the power of an effective pre-trial motion
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