Motion Hearings

Filing Of Motions In The State Of Florida
Pre-Trial Motions, Motions During Trial And After Trial

One of the most important aspects of a criminal case concerns the filing of applicable motions prior to trial and at times during the trial. In various situations, motions can similarly be filed post-trial. They can also be submitted in writing or given orally (ore-tenus).

Pre-Trial Motions included under state practice consist of the following:

  • A Motion for Bond.
  • Motions to Discharge a defendant on speedy trial grounds if he is not granted trial inside of 90 days providing the charge is a misdemeanor and in the case is a felony a time period of 175 days.
  • Motions for Rehearing related to the State of Florida in the event that the state requests to have a court review additional categories of law.
  • A notice of Alibi, basically a motion that demonstrates the alibi evidence which a defendant anticipates offering at trial.
  • A Motion that raises a defense of battered spouse syndrome.
  • Motions associated to death penalty prosecutions regarding Notices of Intent to pursue the death penalty.
  • Motions to propose professional testament on mental mitigation or extreme circumstances.
  • Motions bringing forth the confirmation of mental retardation as a defense to the death penalty.
  • Motions to demonstrate ineptitude, incompetence and/or insanity as a defense to a criminal charge brought against the defendant.

As the trial progresses, the defense counsel will commonly raise motions in limine (at the start) in the hope of excluding certain evidence presented by the State in addition to motions for judgment of acquittal offered at both the close of the State's direct case and once the defense rests, looking for a verdict agreeing with the defense, preceding the case being given to the jury.

An accomplished defense attorney will file Motions for a New Trial after the conclusion of the principal trial as well as Motions in Arrest of Judgment. After the trial concludes, in the event of a conviction, it is vital to file applicable motions throughout a sentencing hearing involving Motions for downward departures and Motions of sentence reduction after penalties are specified.

After a defendant’s direct appeals are exhausted, motions attacking the representation afforded to a defendant can be claimed in a Motion for Post-Conviction Relief similarly in a capital case as well as a non-capital action.

Motions can also be filed asking appellate courts for appropriate relief during the pendency of an appeal

Motions are equally important in Federal practice; Pre-trial motions including motions to dismiss the indictment,motions attacking the jurisdiction or venue of the court, motions to suppress evidence based on constitutional violations, motions for a severance of defendants, motions for discovery or discovery violations are illustrations of motions frequently filed in federal criminal cases.; during trial as in state practice motions in limine and motions for judgment of acquittal are also raised; post trial motions for a new trial should be filed as should appropriate motions during the sentencing phase for a defendant in the event he is convicted after a jury trial; these motions include appropriate motions for a variance from the United States Sentencing Guidelines based upon factors raised under the federal criminal law; As in state practice different motions can also be raised during the appellate process following a conviction; Finally although civil in nature motions for post conviction relief which are know as collateral attacks can be used to challenge the sufficiency of counsel's trial or appellate representation under 28 USC section 2255 in federal criminal cases and under 28 USC section 2254 in State criminal cases.

Read More about other topics in the Criminal Law Process and Florida Criminal Law

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