Much of the ground rules and underpinnings for your criminal case are determined in advance of the actual trial before the jury. By that time, the charges against you are set, and the evidence that the prosecutor is allowed to use has already been disclosed. You can file various pretrial motions for a judge to rule on key issues in your case. The criminal defense lawyers at Hogan Eickhoff can aggressively defend you when you are facing charges in the justice system.

Criminal Defense Attorney in Appleton, WI

Motions to Suppress Evidence

One of the critical classes of pretrial motions is the filings that your attorney would make, seeking to have the judge suppress certain pieces of evidence that the prosecutor wants to use against you. The judge may suppress evidence in your case for a number of reasons, including:

  • Law enforcement did not have a warrant, or they exceeded the scope of a search warrant that a judge signed off on
  • Law enforcement conducted a search pursuant to a stop that they never had reasonable suspicion or probable cause to make
  • Police obtained a confession after a violation of your Miranda rights
  • The evidence is not reliable, such as a witness who lacks credibility
  • Evidence is not relevant to your case

Your attorney would file the motion to suppress before the trial and after law enforcement informs you of the evidence that it intends to use against you. After that, you would have an indication of the strength of the prosecution’s case against you.

Motions to Dismiss Charges

There may be reasons why your attorney thinks that some or all of the charges against you should be dismissed. The most common reason is that the charge is not supported by the evidence. Indictments must be based on probable cause. Some indictments could be so flimsy and far-fetched that a judge may not think that you should even stand trial for it. Your lawyer may seek to narrow the scope of the charges against you or dismiss them entirely. It is not uncommon for at least some of the charges against you not to survive a pre-trial motion to dismiss the case.

Your attorney may seek to dismiss the charges entirely because of a prejudicial violation of your legal rights. For example, law enforcement may not have had probable cause to arrest you in the first place. They may have conducted an illegal interrogation that resulted in a violation of your rights. In some cases, the proper remedy for a violation of your legal rights is to dismiss the charges against you entirely.

Motions to Disqualify

You may seek to have various participants in the prosecution’s case disqualified from participation. For example, the prosecution may be proposing to call a witness who you believe is either not relevant to the case or has no credibility. The prosecution may be calling expert witnesses who do not have the credentials or expertise to offer an opinion for the jury to consider.

In extreme cases, you may even seek to disqualify the prosecutor themselves from the case. They may have committed some type of wrongful act, or they have a conflict that would require their recusal from the case. Here, the case against you would not be dismissed – it would just need to proceed with a different prosecutor.

Motions to Change Venue

You may have various concerns about where the trial is taking place. The most common reason is that you think that you cannot receive a fair trial where it is being held. Your case may have received extensive publicity in advance of the trial, and many people who are in the prospective jury pool may already know what they think to be some of the facts of your case. The alleged victim may have been very well known in the community where the trial is to take place, and there could be concerns that jury members may come into the case with their minds already made up about the outcome.

You can petition the court to change venue in the hopes of receiving a fairer trial elsewhere in the state. A different jury pool may lead to another result in the case, even after hearing the same exact evidence. Your attorney may seek to change the venue to a different county in the state (or a different court if the charges are federal).

If you are successful in the pretrial motion phase of your case, you may even get the charges against you dismissed entirely. The judge may rule in your favor on certain motions that could greatly limit the evidence that the prosecutor can use against you in court. If enough evidence against you is suppressed, the prosecutor may even have to drop certain charges or even all of them. Alternatively, they may be more likely to negotiate a plea agreement with you that has far more generous terms. Either way, you could end up in a far stronger legal position if you have some success. Thus, it is critical to hire an attorney early in your case so they can prepare and strategize for the pre-trial motions.

It is essential that you raise legal issues before the trial in their proper times. This way, you can preserve the issue for appeal if the judge makes a wrongful ruling in refusing to grant your motion.

Contact an Appleton Criminal Defense Attorney Today

The lawyers at Hogan Eickhoff will aggressively seek reasons why you may file a pretrial motion that could help your case. They will review the facts and evidence of your case to determine whether you may seek some type of relief from the court. It is essential that you hire us very early in your case to give us time to best do our job. You can schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys by contacting us today at (920) 450-9800.