5 Defense Motions To Get Your Case Dismissed
Facing criminal charges in Tampa or anywhere in Florida, for that matter, is confusing and scary. Most people have no idea how to deal with the court process and all the procedures involved. They only know they are dealing with possible jail time, fines, and conviction on their record.
Regardless of your offense, most criminal charges follow the same procedures. There are options and tools, like filing motions based on your situation, that defense attorneys use to improve their clients’ circumstances. This is true whether you’re charged with a DUI, drug possession, theft, or a serious felony.
If you’re arrested or under investigation, it’s best to get a lawyer involved right away. Your defense attorney can review the details and whether a defense motion can help you. In Hillsborough County, call Metcalf Falls, Criminal Defense Attorneys, P.C. at (813) 258-4800, for a free and confidential consultation.
Motions Can Steer a Case & Possibly Put an End To Yours
A defense attorney could file a motion – a request for the judge to decide an issue – before, during, or after a trial. If the judge agrees, it might lead to a charge’s dismissal by the judge or make the prosecutor’s ability to carry their burden of proof so limited the charges may be withdrawn. Motions vary on:
- The facts of your case
- Whether the police or prosecutor mishandled your case
- Applicable law
- The charges filed against you
1. Motion To Dismiss Based on Self Defense
If you’re accused of a violent act, self-defense is a potential affirmative defense. Essentially, this means you don’t deny the act happened, but your acts were legally justified. Self-defense, or the justifiable use of force, may result in charges being dismissed if you reasonably believed your conduct was necessary to defend yourself against the other person’s imminent use of unlawful force against you or another person. Florida’s Stand Your Ground law allows us to file a motion for a pre-trial determination that you should be immune from prosecution.
2. Motion To Dismiss on Factual Grounds (C4 Motion)
Sometimes both the defendant and the prosecution agree on what happened. Since there are no additional material facts that must be determined, there’s no need for a trial. The judge decides if your actions were criminal or not.
3. Motion To Dismiss Due to the Statute of Limitations
The prosecution has a time limit to file charges – or a statute of limitations – for most crimes. If the time between the alleged crime and filing the charges is too late, they should be dismissed. Crimes that have no time limit to file charges include:
- Felony crimes causing a death
- Capital or death penalty felonies
- Felonies that can be punishable by life in prison
- Lying under oath in a capital felony case
- Sexual battery, if the victim is younger than 18 and the crime was committed on or after July 1, 2020
- Human trafficking
For other cases, the statute of limitations can be from one to ten years.
4. Motion To Dismiss for Violation of Speedy Trial
Under Florida court rules, if you’re charged with a misdemeanor, your trial must start within 90 days of your arrest and 175 days if you’re accused of a felony. Any defendant can demand a trial at least 60 days after their arrest.
A court needs to look into the issue, and if no justifiable reasons as spelled out in the rules are found, a judge will order you to be brought to trial within 10 days. If that doesn’t happen and you’re not at fault for the delay, another motion would result in the charge’s dismissal.
5. Motion To Dismiss Due to Insufficient Evidence
During the trial, after the prosecution presents its case, the defense may ask the judge to dismiss the charges because the evidence, as far as the law is concerned, is not enough to justify a conviction. The prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, you committed the crime. You don’t have the burden to prove you’re innocent.
Every crime has different elements – specific acts, knowledge, or motivations – that must be proven for a conviction. If there wasn’t enough evidence to prove all the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, the charge should be dismissed.
Contact Attorney Brett Metcalf Today
If you need to fight criminal charges, you want someone who can obtain dismissals, acquittals, and minimal penalties for various offenses. As a former prosecutor and experienced Tampa defense attorney, Brett Metcalf has successfully used defense motions like those discussed to help countless individuals. He may be able to help you too.