Your defense attorney may file a number of motions during the course of a drug trial in Texas. Some of those motions may challenge the charge itself. They are not a substitute for a trial (a motion cannot ask a judge to find you “not guilty”) but they can call attention to defects in the charge or in the charging process that could result in a dismissal of the charge. For instance, if you are charged under a statute that is unconstitutional, the invalidity of the charge can be raised in a motion.
Other motions might seek dismissal of the charges on procedural grounds. For instance, if the government engaged in outrageous misconduct, your lawyer might seek dismissal of the charges. Additional motions could seek a change of venue or a continuance (delay) of the trial date.
Some motions seek discovery or the production of evidence in the state’s possession. The defendant’s right to discovery in Texas was recently broadened but it remains to be seen whether prosecutors will play by the new rules. Motions may be required to compel reluctant prosecutors to comply with their new discovery obligations.
Motion to Suppress Evidence
In Lubbock drug cases, motions are frequently filed asking the court to suppress evidence. Evidence that is suppressed cannot be used against you at trial. If evidence that is critical to the prosecution is suppressed, the prosecution may be forced to dismiss some or all of the charges.
Suppression is the remedy when the police obtained evidence by violating your constitutional rights. A suppression motion might be filed when the police acquire evidence by:
- Stopping you without having an objectively reasonable suspicion that you had committed or were committing a crime.
- Stopping the vehicle you were in without having an objectively reasonable suspicion that the driver or a passenger had committed a crime or traffic offense.
- Frisking you without having an objectively reasonable concern that you were armed and dangerous.
- Searching you before you were arrested.
- Searching your vehicle without probable cause or your consent.
- Searching your home without a warrant or your consent.
- Entering your home without a warrant or your consent.
- Arresting you without probable cause.
- Questioning you after an arrest without warning you of your right to remain silent and your right to a lawyer.
- Initiating questioning after you said you wanted to exercise your right to remain silent.
- Questioning you after you said you wanted a lawyer.
- Questioning you outside your lawyer’s presence.
- Using violence or threats of violence to induce you to confess.
Suppression motions (as well as certain other motions) require the court to hold a hearing and to consider evidence. The police officer who acquired the challenged evidence must usually testify. Even if the motion is denied, cross-examination of the officer often produces testimony that will help you during your trial. If the officer cannot justify his or her actions, the court will suppress illegally acquired evidence as a remedy for the violation of your constitutional rights in your Lubbock drug case.