Why I will never use Securus . . .

A lot of jails are moving to video conferencing systems to “help” facilitate communication between attorneys and their clients while maintaining safety for all involved. I call bullshit. This story is one of many where prosecutors have been able to listen into conversations between a defendant and his attorney. This is why I do my damn level best never to use them. I insist on seeing my client face to face.


 

 

Pre-Trial Motions

Rick Ross was in court in his criminal case for a pre-trial motion regarding immunity from prosecution. His appearance in court is a good way to discuss pre-trial motions in regards to a criminal case.

What are pre-trial motions?

Pre-trial motions are contested motions that deal with the admissibility of evidence that either the State or the Defense wishes to present at trial. Evidence can either be physical evidence (things), testimony that a witness provide at trial, or demonstrative. Most pre-trial motions require a hearing in front of judge prior to the beginning of the trial.

Are discovery motions pre-trial motions?

Yes, in the sense that they are filed prior to the commencement of a trial. However, discovery motions and motions under Brady v. Maryland pertain more to the State providing evidence to the defendant and his attorney. In some cases, if there is a dispute on whether the State has complied with their obligations under the discovery statutes, then a criminal defense attorney will file a pre-trial motion regarding this discovery dispute that will have to be heard in front of the judge.

When must an attorney file pre-trial motions?

An attorney has to file all pre-trial motions ten days after arraignment, unless the trial court judge gives additional time to file said motions or if the law allows it to be file later, such as a general demurrer.

Why does an attorney need to file pre-trial motions?

In most cases, a criminal defense attorney files pre-trial motions to keep evidence out that hurts his client’s case. In other cases, the criminal defense attorney will want to know if the trial court judge will permit the attorney to present evidence that can help his client to the jury.

What are the most common pre-trial motions?

This list is not the complete list of pre-trial motions, but here are the most common:

  • Motion to Suppress,
  • Motion in Limine,
  • Jackson v. Denno,
  • Demurrers (General and Special),
  • Motion to Reveal Confidential Informant,
  • Motion to Reveal Deal, and
  • Motion for Immunity from Prosecution.

I will discuss these pre-trial motions in more detail in the future.

Do I have to appear in court for these pre-trial motions?

Unless your attorney gets you to sign a document that waives your presence at these pre-trial motions and files it with the court, you have to appear in court for these motions.

Are there witnesses at these pre-trial motions?

In the majority of pre-trial motions, there are witnesses that have to testify.

Should my attorney file pre-trial motions in my case?

It depends on the facts and circumstances in your case. Not every criminal case needs an attorney to file pre-trial motions. However, a criminal defense attorney needs to consult with his client, review the evidence in the State’s file, and to investigate the case, before making a decision on filing pre-trial motions in a client’s case.

Songs for a Saturday night

When a dismissal is not a dismissal (Part Two)

In a prior post, I pointed out that a dismissal at preliminary hearing does not mean that the case is over, and in fact, it does not mean a thing. Here is the proof. The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office took this case to the Grand Jury immediately, and got the Grand Jury not only to return a true bill of indictment against this defendant for the charges that were dismissed, but they had additional charges added on to this defendant.

Now, when a Grand Jury indicts a defendant for charges that he was not originally arrested for by law enforcement, the State has the ability to ask the Superior Court Judge that accepted the Grand Jury indictment to issue a warrant for the Defendant’s arrest for those additional charges. It is called a bench warrant because it is a warrant that is issued from the bench of the judge. I imagined that the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office moved quickly to indict this defendant to prevent him from bonding out. Moreover, a possible reason that they added the gang related charge against this defendant is that only a Superior Court Judge can set bond for this offense, and not a Magistrate Court judge.

 

Legwork

Doing the legwork for my clients!

A post shared by Daniel R. Partain (@daniel_partain) on

A lot of work that an attorney does takes place outside of the courtroom. Some of it is quite mundane, such as getting reports associated with your client’s case. It is vital because this legwork can lead to critical information that can make or break a client’s case. So, if you are wanting to be an attorney, get use to making trips out to various places and be willing to speak with a lot of people. You will be amazed about what you can find out, not only about your case, but yourself.

When a dismissal isn’t a dismissal . . .

This defendant went to a preliminary hearing. While his attorney was able to convince a judge to dismiss some of the charges against his client, and get his client a bond, it does not mean that his client is free of those charges. A preliminary hearing is not a trial. The protections of double jeopardy do not apply at a preliminary hearing. Thus, the State is not bound by the judge’s ruling here. They can present the case to the Grand Jury with the same evidence, and they are able to get those dismissed charges revived against this defendant. You can read my prior posts about a preliminary hearing and about the Grand Jury.

Since November 4, 2000, I have been practicing attorney. I have spent the majority of my career as a criminal defense attorney. I have handled all aspects of criminal litigation including committal hearings, arraignments, plea negotiations, motion preparation and argument, judge and jury trials, probation revocation hearings, and appeals with one singular goal: to defend my clients to the best of my ability. I believe that every person has a right to be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness in the eyes of the law. I represent every client diligently and energetically. Let me do the same for you. Call me at 404-585-1377 to set up an appointment to discuss your case.

DISCLAIMER: This post does not constitute legal advice. This post does not constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and me. Until you retain me, I am not your attorney. Moreover, this post is general information, and it does not replace the advice and counsel of an attorney that has reviewed the evidence in your case and has investigated the case on your behalf. In plain English, this is just general information; I do not represent you; my posts do not replace your attorney’s advice.

St. Paddy’s on Perry!