Motions & Trials

By May 15, 2018Criminal Resources


What motions can be filed before trial?

If appropriate, the following motions may be filed before trial:

  • Motion to Preserve Evidence – To keep evidence from being destroyed before defense testing or trial.
  • Motion to Suppress – To kickout evidence illegally obtained by police.  Grounds for a motion to suppress may be:  Illegal car stop, Illegal search, Illegal questioning, Inaccurate search warrant, Tainted eyewitness identification.
  • Daubert or Fry Motion – To keep unreliable junk science from being used in court.
  • Stand Your Ground Motion – To dismiss charges because the defendant was justified in his use of reasonable force.
  • Motion in Limine – To prevent irrelevant evidence from being admitted at trial.

Jessica J. Travis has successfully argued all types of pre-trial motions and can evaluate whether one is appropriate in your defense.

What happens at jury trial?

At jury trial, the defendant sits with his attorney, helps pick a jury and is consulted during evidence.  Inmates are dressed in normal clothes.

The sequence of a jury trial often is:

  1. Jury Selection (Voir Dire)
  2. Opening Statements
  3. Prosecutor’s (State’s) Evidence
  4. Defense Evidence – The defendant is not obligated to present any evidence.  They may seek to show reasonable doubt through cross-examination.
  5. Jury instruction conference
  6. Reading of jury instructions to jury
  7. Closing Statements
  8. Juror deliberations
  9. Verdict or Hung Jury (if the jurors are unable to unanimously agree)

If the Defendant is found ‘not guilty’ she is returned to the jail and released.  If she is convicted, the case proceeds to post-trial motions and sentencing.

Can I make witnesses come to court when they don’t want to testify?

Yes, witnesses can be subpoenaed even when they do not want to appear in court.

Do I have to testify?

No, you can ‘take the 5th.’  The decision to testify, or not, is a complex one that should only be made after discussing with an attorney.