When you’re charged with committing a crime in Rhode Island, the road ahead can look long and intimidating. It’s crucial that you and your RI criminal defense attorney build a custom, effective defense strategy to minimize the penalties you’re facing.
Think of your defense as a structure to be built. It needs a solid foundation. And any materials used to construct your strategy must stand strong against the prosecution’s attempts to dismantle it.
Pre-trial motions are one of the best “building materials” available to you and your legal team. When utilized correctly, they can contribute to a stronger overall defense and may even help secure your freedom.
Keep reading to learn more about what pre-trial motions are appropriate for your criminal case and how they can benefit you.
How do pre-trial motions fit into the overall strategy for my case, and how can they be used to build a stronger defense?
Pre-trial motions can fit into the overall strategy for your case in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples of what you can achieve by filing and getting approval on pre-trial motions:
- Negotiating plea deals and/or reduced charges for you
- Requesting more time to prepare your defense, resulting in an overall stronger strategy in court
- Getting confessions or other statements from you, the defendant, excluded
- Obtaining evidence to help you and your RI criminal defense lawyer build your strategy
- Getting specific pieces of evidence excluded on the grounds of tampering, contamination, etc.
- Winning a reduction in bail and/or your release from custody
- Getting charges against you dismissed entirely when appropriate
- Every criminal case is different because each one is completely unique. When you work with the Law Offices of John E. MacDonald, we’ll work with you to determine which pre-trial motions fit best into your custom defense strategy.
If the judge agrees with any or all of our motions, the approval(s) strengthen your defense. Whether it’s getting evidence excluded so a jury never sees it or getting your charges completely dismissed, we’ll push for every appropriate pre-trial motion that can bring you closer to freedom.
What pre-trial motions are appropriate for my Rhode Island criminal case?
There are such a wide range of criminal offenses in the state of RI that it’s impossible to lay out the appropriate pre-trial motions for each offense in this article. As soon as you start working with the legal experts here at the Law Offices of John E. MacDonald, we can start discussing which ones are best for your unique situation and why.
That said, here are the most important pre-trial motions in many Rhode Island criminal cases:
- Motion to Suppress Evidence. Sometimes, the police obtain evidence in a way that violates your constitutional rights. This motion challenges the admissibility of that evidence. If granted, the evidence in question can’t be used against you.
- Motion to Dismiss. It’s possible that the charges against you aren’t valid for one of several reasons. This motion challenges the sufficiency of said charges. If granted, your charges can be dismissed, and the case may end.
- Motion for Discovery. It’s possible that the prosecution has evidence which may strengthen your defense. This motion asks for witness statements, police reports, and other relevant evidence. If granted, you and your attorney can use this evidence in your favor.
- Motion for Bail Review. The judge considers various factors before setting bail. This motion asks for the amount to be reconsidered/reduced and/or for you to be released from custody. If granted, you may be released during the period leading up to your trial.
- Motion for a Continuance. Depending on details of your case, more time to prepare can result in a better defense. This motion asks for additional time. If granted, your trial may be postponed to a later date.
- Motion for Severance. You may have been charged with other people in the same indictment. This motion requests the separation of your case from the others. If granted, you will be tried separately, which can result in less severe penalties.
- Motion for Change of Venue. Especially when your case is in the public eye, certain locations can make it hard to find unbiased jurors. This motion requests that your trial be held in a different venue, or even a different state. If granted, you can escape any prejudices that may have resulted in a worse outcome.
Once we’re working closely with you on your case, you’ll not only get advice on the best path forward—you’ll also get our support preparing and filing the appropriate motions with the court.
What can I do to support my attorney and contribute to a strong defense strategy, and how can I work collaboratively with my legal team to achieve the best possible outcome for my case?
The best ways to support your Rhode Island criminal defense attorney and work collaboratively with your legal team are:
- Being honest. Your lawyer is on your side. When we know the honest truth, we can make informed decisions about the best path forward—with no unexpected roadblocks.
- Providing requested information ASAP. Even the best attorney can’t build your case without the necessary information. From potential witnesses to necessary documents, the sooner your lawyer has this info, the sooner they can get to work on your defense.
- Listening to and following advice. Like you, your lawyer wants the best possible outcome for your case. That’s why we’ll give you advice and guidance as much as we can—sometimes, things that happen during your legal proceedings can be just as important as the alleged crime itself. By following our recommendations, you can avoid these dangerous pitfalls and help secure a good outcome.
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges in Rhode Island, every moment counts. The Law Offices of John E. MacDonald are here to provide the custom, skilled, and aggressive legal defense you can count on. Just contact us at (401) 421-1440 to get started.