The Most Important Motions in Criminal Cases

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The Most Important Motions in Criminal Cases

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Related pages:
Brief banks: Google for “brief bank”
Motions 101:
Briefs 101:
100 Actual Winning motions:
I once owned a superb criminal forms book – but I lost track of it when I was in mail and they cleaned out my office and library. There are criminal forms books in the library. Use them.

If you can’t find a particular motion for you, please remember the following:

1. The criminal procedure process borrows from the civil procedure process. Look in a Civil Procedure book. Look in the civil procedure statutes for your state. Look in your civil procedure rules for your state or the federal rules of civil procedure.

2. Improvise! Make the motion. Every good case can be converted into a motion to dismiss and a jury instruction !

3. Many motions have a corollary in a jury instruction.

4. There are several critical sources of law in the area of criminal procedure.

a. Ask around. Ask a local lawyer.

b. The rules of criminal procedure in your state. Rules are not statutes. Rules are merely recommendatory.

c. The criminal statutes in your state. This is the statutory law. It nonetheless must yield to the constitution and common law.

d. The 143 cases that define your criminal rights:

e. The local rules of your local court.

5. Remember that you can appeal some motions before trial. Do this! See PC 1538.5 for example. Be aggressive!

6. Google for “brief bank” to find tons of motions.

7. Do not be intimidated about writing motions. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that anybody can write:

The 20 Most Important Criminal Motions:

Important: New: Federal Public Defender Brief bank:

1. Demand for legible copy of the ticket.

2. PC 1318 Demand to be released O.R. (on your Own Recognizance). Sample Motion for Release O.R. in California. There are similar provisions in every state! I can find em for you!

3. Bail reduction motion. Some states only permit you to do this once, but then that rule and all rules are merely recommendatory; they are not statutes; even statutes yield to the common law. Before you post bail, you may want to whack the counts that the prosecutor has added. They add throwaways as bargaining chips. This can save your parents thousands of dollars in bail bond fees.

4. New. Demand to have Lawyerdude speak for you remotely by instant messenger thereby producing instant transcript! The internet will make us free!

5. Demand for appointed counsel.( A Gideon/ Argersinger/ Shelton motion.) They will give you a lawyer but he won’t write a written motion for you. If you graduated college then you should be your own lawyer.

6. Discovery demand letter

7. Discovery motion. PC 1045.5b

8. Brady Motion is a discovery motion. Non California Discovery motion. California PC 1054.5b is way better. Borrow from it. You can use Brady when your state has no discovery statutes. Remember that the criminal borrows from the civil. Use the civil discovery statutes in your state or borrow from California’s criminal statutes regarding discovery:

9. Motion to Suppress PC 1538.5

10. Motion to Suppress. Non-California: Here is an aggressive one:

11. Appeal of 1538.5 is authorized by 1538.5 to be appealable by extraordinary writ before trial. A petition for extraordinary writ at the court of appeal should contain transcripts and motions, and a docket record. It is days of work!

12. Demurrer. PC 1004 et seq. Called rule 12 in some states:

13. 995 Motion. PC 995

14. Marsden Motion. Here is the Marsden case: Here is a successful Marsden/ Faretta motion page:

15. Faretta Motion. A Faretta motion will trigger a Faretta hearing. The judge may conclude that you lack sufficient education to speak for yourself. He will push a public defender on you even though the public defender won’t help you. Write up a contract for the public defender. Tell him what motions to file. Recall the case of Harrison Cronic. Harrison spent more time litigating against his own incompetent lawyers than he did litigating for his case. The court found that his lawyer was indeed incompetent. Harrison Cronic is not to be confused with Harry Connick, Jr., unless that helps you remember the name of this case:

16. Petition for writ of habeas corpus. Big fat one: There are better example. Each jail has a printed “Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus waiting for you to ask for it.

17. Motion for continuance is controlled by California Penal Code section 1050 et seq as I recall. Charlie’s. Threw in some demands: The rules generally require 10 days notice in California criminal cases but the court will always grant a motion to shorten time. Also, the public defenders and prosecutors do many oral motions without any notice whatsoever. There is a constant barrage of assaults on your rights.

18. Pitchess Motion. There are a half dozen California cases names “Pitchess” because he was the sheriff of Los Angeles county once. Obviously some idiot named this motion wrong. I think that it is a motion to look into the personnel files of a cop.

19. Overbreadth motions. Very powerful! Instant winner for Steve Bloomer: This one was denied:

20. Motion to dismiss. California Penal Code section 995 motion. Very Important motion. If your lawyer does not file one then he aint even trying.

21. Gerstein motion. Gernstein is a fundamental read regarding pre-trial detention and your right to a prompt probable cause hearing under the common law.

22. Dombrowski motion.

23. Hurtado motion – demand for grand jury

24. Demand for jury

25. Demand for deposition of witness

26. Discovery request forms. Interrogs.

27. Subpoena forms

28. Jury instruction forms. You must write your own jury instructions. The ones that they give you will kill you.

29. Bradley motion: Get this issue resolved before trial! Mandatory sentencing rules.

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39. Learn the law ! Links to the 143 cases that define criminal procedure:

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