In the complex world of the legal system, pretrial motions play a big role in deciding how a criminal case turns out.
These are official requests made by the prosecutor or defendant before the trial begins.
Understanding pretrial motions
Pretrial motions are formal requests made by either the prosecution or defense before a trial. They deal with different aspects of the case, aiming to clear up legal issues. They address the evidence and what the trial will include, and they may even stop the charges altogether.
Both sides closely look at the evidence collected by the other party. They try to remove any information that might not be relevant, reliable or gathered legally, ensuring that both parties only present fair and just facts in court.
These motions try to prevent the prosecution from using any statements obtained in ways that violate the defendant’s rights. These motions attempt to ensure that the trial only uses evidence collected legally to protect the accused’s constitutional rights.
In 2022, Maryland and the District of Columbia each had one exoneration. In some cases, pretrial motions allow either side to ask the prosecution to drop the charges, exonerating the defendant. These requests might be the result of a lack of evidence. Mistakes in the legal process or other legal reasons may also contribute. Successfully getting charges dropped can greatly change the course of the case. It saves the accused from going through a trial.
Pretrial motions are a preview of the trial. These tools function as the regulator of the trial. The pretrial phase of the case is much more than a tool to gather evidence because these motions shape the legal arguments and trial.