No Plea Deal … What’s Next?

Throughout these blogs we have discussed many imperative issues regarding the criminal process. We have explained each process of the criminal justice system; discussed a defendant’s right to a trial, and what transpires during the course of a trial. We have focused on plea deals that are negotiated and what happens at sentencing. The question that arises is, what happens if a plea deal cannot be negotiated, and what transpires prior to a case proceeding to trial?
After the preliminary hearing and before a criminal case goes to trial, the prosecutor and the defense team usually appear before a criminal court judge and make pre-trial motions — arguments that certain evidence should be kept out of the trial, that certain persons must or cannot testify, or that the case should be dismissed altogether.
Pre-trial motions are tools used by the government and the defense in an effort to set the boundaries for trial, should one take place: What physical evidence and testimony can be used? What legal arguments can and cannot be made? Is there any reason that the defendant should not be forced to stand trial?
While specific possibilities are endless, following are some examples of pre-trial motions that might be made in a criminal case: 1) in a drug possession case, the defense can ask the judge to exclude drug paraphernalia that the defense can argue was obtained through an illegal search of the defendant; 2) the defense can argue that a defendant’s confession should be excluded because it was in response to a police officer’s questions prior to his or her Miranda warnings being read; 3) the prosecutor or defense can argue that a witness not be allowed to testify due to competency concerns; and finally, 4) the defense asks the judge to dismiss the case against the defendant altogether, arguing that the police did not have “probable cause” to arrest the defendant in the first place, or that insufficient evidence exists for any reasonable jury to find the defendant guilty.
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer.

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