Motion Hearings - Motions to Suppress & Motions to Dismiss
MOTIONS TO SUPPRESS & MOTIONS TO DISMISS
An effective tool that defense attorneys often use in criminal proceedings are motions to suppress and motions to dismiss. A successful motion could mean the difference between a criminal conviction and/or prison sentence and dropped or dismissed charges. Even if they don't result in dropped or dismissed charges, they can drastically change the landscape of the case against you.
What is a motion to suppress?
A motion to suppress is filed by a defense attorney when he or she has reason to believe that evidence was illegally obtained through an unlawful search or seizure.
For example, in a DUI case, if the officer did not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop and/or detain you, then any and all evidence that they obtained after the stop and/or detention could be thrown out, including the results of the field sobriety tests and breath, blood or urine results. In a drug case, if the officer conducted an illegal search and found a controlled substance, the prosecutor could not use that controlled substance against you in court.
What is a motion to dismiss?
When there is a legal problem with the charges, a defense attorney can often file a motion to dismiss the charges. For example, if the statute of limitations has run, the defense attorney can file a motion to dismiss. If the prosecutor and defense attorney agree on all of the material facts, but they disagree on whether the person committed a crime, the defense attorney can file a motion to dismiss and have the judge determine whether a crime was committed. For example, in a fraud case, both sides may agree on the facts, but do not agree on whether what the person did was fraud as defined under the law.