Criminal courts dispense justice following technical rules of procedure that both sides to a case must observe. Generally, an act in court requires the permission of the judge before any party can be perform it.
This permission may be obtained after submitting a request verbally in court or in writing, through a motion. Motions are often argued and heard before a judge and are best handled by criminal lawyers. Melbourne criminal courts strictly adhere to rules of procedure and non-compliance may adversely affect the outcome of your case.
Basic steps for filing a motion
Notice and hearing are important elements of any motion and follow a chronological order. A motion always starts by giving notice to the other party and to the judge as well of your intention to seek the court’s permission to do something. A motion must cite specific reasons and applicable legal precedent which the adverse party has the right to review and oppose.
At the motion hearing, both sides are given the opportunity to give oral arguments before the judge hands out his decision on the matter.
How to use motions in criminal case
Depending on the circumstances of your case, your lawyer may file the following motions to obtain clearly specified outcomes:
* Motion to modify bail, if you want to change your bail status
* Motion to dismiss complaint, if you want the judge to dismiss an insufficient criminal complaint against you
* Motion to reduce charges, when the details of the alleged criminal incident do not accurately describe the charge against you
* Motion for change of venue, when you feel that moving the trial of your case to another court will ensure a fair trial
* Motion for bill of particulars which may be used to obtain all details of the charges against you
* Motion for discovery, which if granted by the court, will require the prosecution to turn over all evidence in their possession, an important tool in many criminal defence strategies
When to make motions
Appropriate motions may be made at various stages of the court proceedings, whether before, during or after trial, although not all motions are available to you after trial. Timeliness coupled with thorough knowledge of the facts of the case and applicable law is crucial in seeking approvals of motions.
Seasoned criminal lawyers Melbourne practitioners preferably, are familiar with local court systems and can increase your chances of obtaining favourable outcomes in your motions.