What Happens If A Motion In Limine Or Motion To Suppress Is Violated During Trial?
Usually, if a motion in limine or motion to suppress is violated during trial, but is not that extreme, the judge will admonish the attorney who violated the motion. The judge may instruct the jury one way or another about the violation, and if it’s egregious enough, it could result in a mistrial where they’d have to retry the case from the beginning. Or, the judge may not be willing to take action after the violation of the motion in, which could be an issue for appeal. However, we prefer to win our cases in the trenches. In other words, we prefer to continue in the trial with the jury and not appeal because that takes a long time, and it gets very expensive.
I talked about a lot of different types of motions in limine. A number of those have helped with cases that I’ve had in the past. I can think of specific cases that were won suppression motions. For example, we can bring the field sobriety or sobriety checkpoint motion. That’s where the police set up their cones, lights, and machines. There are about 20 or 30 police out there trying to get people on DUIs. But in those situations, there are rules that they are supposed to follow. If they don’t follow some of those rules, we might be able to get the judge to suppress the arrest. I’ve won those motions before, and there are a number of different reasons where we can win that. Things like not having a legal turnout for someone to avoid the checkpoint is one way I’ve had success with these cases. Other things that the courts are looking for in these cases is – was the checkpoint made public? There is a very low threshold on that one. Another aspect is if there’s supposed to be a systematic process when cars are pulled over to avoid bias.
Bias is a big issue with checkpoint cases where the police don’t have a warrant or probable cause to pull someone over. They need to make sure that the officers have a plan and enforce it when they pull over. It also needs to be documented because they can be challenged in a checkpoint if they are not following the procedures for stopping. For instance, they can do every car or every other car, and they change because sometimes traffic will back right up. But, they need to document their process every time. And so, we try to get the records on those. This is just another example of where a suppression motion has worked.
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