There’s a lot more to a criminal trial than what you may see on TV or in the movies, which may focus first on the arrest of a character and then on the trial. The truth is that criminal defense attorneys are quite busy in the interim, reviewing case law, examining discovery materials, and using pretrial motions to defend the interests of their clients. Through successful pretrial motion practice, it may be possible to gain access to certain witnesses or documents – or even have criminal charges dismissed entirely because of procedural issues. Pretrial proceedings are critical in a Pennsylvania criminal case, and a skilled defense lawyer is essential to fight the charges against you.
After your arrest, arraignment, and preliminary hearing, your case is set for trial. The time period leading up to that date is the pretrial phase. Prosecutors and your criminal defense attorney may use this time to file motions, which are applications to the court requesting that a judge makes a decision on an issue before the official trial begins. A motion may address issues of procedure, evidence, or testimony. Pretrial motion rules require a party to submit the request in writing, and the other side has time to respond in a written answer.
Criminal defense lawyers may use one or more different types of motions to defend your case:
No matter what crime you’ve been charged with under Pennsylvania law, you do have basic civil rights, including the right to due process under the law. Through the use of pretrial motions, an attorney will protect your interests and attack any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you. Unless you have a legal background, you may not be able to properly defend yourself and present motions to support your case. The experienced lawyers at the Skinner Law Firm have the detailed knowledge of state and federal law to fight for your rights. Please contact our West Chester, Pennsylvania, office with questions or to schedule a consultation.