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Your Guide to Pre-Trial Motions in Criminal Cases in Minnesota

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Were you arrested and charged with a crime in Southern Minnesota? It is imperative that you take immediate action to protect your rights and your future. Defending a criminal charge is complicated—much of the process occurs before any actual criminal trial. Indeed, pre-trial motions are a key part of any effective criminal defense strategy. Here, our Mankato criminal defense attorney provides an overview of the key things to know about pre-trial motions in Minnesota.

What is a Pre-Trial Motion?

As defined by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), a pre-trial motion is essentially a request made by either the prosecution or by the defense to a judge before a trial begins. These motions can ask the judge to rule on a variety of issues—from whether certain evidence is admissible to whether the charges should be dismissed outright. The judge’s ruling on a pre-trial motion can have a significant impact on the outcome of the trial. Pre-trial motions are an important part of the legal process and help to ensure that trials are fair and just.

Examples of Common Pre-Trial Motions in Criminal Cases in Minnesota

Pre-trial motions matter. The right pre-trial motion could be the difference between a felony criminal charge being thrown out or the defendant being convicted of a serious criminal offense. Notable examples of pre-trial motions in Minnesota include:

  • Motion to Suppress: A motion to suppress asks the judge to exclude certain evidence from the trial—most often on the grounds that it was illegally obtained or otherwise obtained through a violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights.
  • Motion to Dismiss the Charges: This type of motion seeks to get the judge to dismiss the charges against the defendant because there is insufficient evidence to support them, or because the prosecution has engaged in misconduct.
  • Motion to Discover: Prosecutors should turn over all evidence that is potentially exculpatory. That being said, Minnesota prosecutors do not always do so. A motion to discover seeks to compel evidence.
  • Motion to Change Venue: This motion seeks to move the trial to a different location because the defendant cannot receive a fair trial in the original location. An example of this would be if the defendant believes that the local community is too biased against them or that a high-profile case is affecting the potential jury pool.

Criminal cases are highly fact-specific. What pre-trial motions are necessary in your case will depend on a wide range of different factors, including the nature of the charge, the conduct of the police, and approach taken by prosecutors.

Set Up a Confidential Consultation With a Mankato, MN Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Mankato criminal defense attorney fights tirelessly to help clients get justice. If you have any specific questions about pre-trial motions, we are here to help. Contact us today at 507-405-2442 for a completely confidential case review. From our Mankato law office, we handle misdemeanor and felony cases throughout Southern Minnesota.