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Ken is a NJ trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on litigation topics. He has been selected to write the new ABA book: DUI and Drug Possession Defense".

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Motions in criminal cases


A motion is a legal pleading which asks the court for some specific action, e.g., to suppress evidence unlawfully obtained. It is normally a document that sets forth facts and legal arguments to persuade a judge to grant the action requested. The most common type of motion is a motion to suppress evidence. Most motions are filed by defense counsel, but some, such as a motion for depositions, may be filed by the State. At the time of filing, motions are normally accompanied by an affidavit. See R. 1:6-2; 1:6-6.

For purposes of continuity this section on motions is included before the discussion on pre-trial conferences. In practice, motions should have been addressed either well before the conference, or will be addressed subsequent to this point (e.g., motion for judgment of acquittal after the jury's verdict). All motions that can be disposed of before the pre-trial conference should be in order to make the pre-trial conference a more productive event.