Should a case appear headed for trial rather than disposition (resolution) via a negotiated plea agreement, the judge will set a deadline for filing of motions, and set a date prior to trial for a hearing on these motion. Pretrial motions in criminal cases most commonly seek suppression or exclusion of evidence at trial based upon defense contentions that the challenged evidence was inappropriately obtained by the police. Evidence may include actual physical objects, laboratory test results, observations by law enforcement officials, and things allegedly said by the accused person. While it is standard criminal defense practice to file pretrial motions, many cases resolve before the motions hearing. For those cases that proceed to motions hearing, the great majority of motions that could win the case for the defense are most often denied. On the other hand, motions important to the defense are sometimes granted, in whole or in part, potentially significantly improving the accused person's position.
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