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In your daily life, you probably don’t often wonder about the Massachusetts legal system. But that’s likely to change once you’re charged with any kind of crime.
It’s common to feel pressured to learn as much as you can about court proceedings and what to expect. But once you start researching, you might become overwhelmed by all the legal jargon and complex processes.
At Fogarty Law, we help people like you every day. Our attorney Courtney K. Fogarty has over 10 years of experience aggressively representing clients.
That’s why we put together this guide to motion hearings in MA. The more you understand about the road ahead of you, the easier it is to build a strong defense and win your ideal outcome. Keep reading to learn about motion hearings in MA and how they can positively impact your case.
A motion hearing is a formal court procedure where you and your attorney ask the court to make a decision on something related to your trial. Basically, if something unlawful or inadmissible happens during your trial, your attorney will file a motion.
After filing, the hearing itself has to happen. Your trial may or may not proceed in the lead-up to this hearing, depending on the nature of the motion.
At the hearing, your attorney presents their reasoning for filing the motion and why they feel it should be granted. The prosecution will most likely attend this hearing as well, and they’ll argue against your attorney.
The judge decides whether or not to grant the motion, and your trial picks back up with the ruling in mind.
In most Massachusetts courts, your attorney must file a written request for a motion hearing. You and your attorney may also be required to serve a copy to the prosecution, and/or relay information about the hearing’s date and time.
That said, sometimes oral motions are accepted in court too. Your attorney would get permission to approach the bench and make the motion at that very moment.
The exact procedure for your case will depend on the nature of your charges and which court is overseeing the proceedings. But remember that at Fogarty Law, we have over 10 years of experience aggressively defending clients like you and seeing them through the court process.
When you hire Courtney K. Fogarty as your legal representation, she’ll constantly watch for opportunities to file motions. And as soon as these opportunities arise, she’ll help ensure the request is filed promptly.
Every criminal case is different. As a result, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to motion hearings in MA. But here are a few examples of motions that can be made during a trial:
A motion hearing can impact the overall outcome of your case in a variety of ways. Let’s look at a couple hypothetical situations.
Say, for example, your attorney makes a motion for continuance and the motion is granted. You and your attorney now have even more time to research your case and find any issues with the prosecution’s evidence, testimony, or procedure. Sometimes, having that extra week or month makes all the difference.
Or let’s say it’s discovered that the judge has some kind of bias or conflict of interest. If a motion for recusal isn’t filed, that judge could make an unfair ruling based on their bias—and you’d be stuck with that ruling, or have to go through an arduous appeals process. But if the motion for recusal is filed and granted, the new judge might find you innocent or reduce the penalties.
These are just two purely hypothetical situations. But they illustrate just how impactful a successful motion hearing can be. It could make the difference between you resuming life as a regular citizen or serving time in prison.
Just because you’re facing criminal charges doesn’t mean you have no rights. According to both federal law and MA law, you’re guaranteed certain protections and procedures.
The thing is, violations of these rights are all too common. And you’re entitled to a motion hearing in MA anytime such a violation or prejudice against you occurs. But you have so much on your mind during the trial that you might not even realize when they happen.
That’s why hiring an aggressive, focused Massachusetts criminal defense attorney like Courtney K. Fogarty is so crucial.
With her by your side in court, you can rest easy knowing an expert is constantly looking out for your best interests. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges of any kind, call our Massachusetts Law Office at (508) 317-0339 for your free initial consultation.
The sooner you call, the sooner we can start working towards the best possible outcome for your case.