Motions are legal arguments, made in the form of an oral argument in open court, and tend to be filed in written briefs before any argument is given, allowing both sides to recognize and counter the arguments of the opposing side. Other common terms for legal motions in the criminal defense and law context are memorandum of law, points and authorities, or legal brief.
In the criminal case, a motion should be filed when there is an issue that requires the court???s attention, typically in order to prevent the jury from hearing incorrect or misleading information, or to highlight a violation of the defendant???s rights (most normally, violations of the defendant???s 4th amendment rights of search and seizure, the 5th amendment right to remain silent, or the 6th amendment right concerning confessions and the right to an attorney). Also, some motions aim to introduce certain evidence that was not included in the district attorney???s discovery, such as third party records, expert psychological reports, or an officer???s record of misconduct. Lastly, motions often ask the court to take action in some aspect of the case, be it a motion for new trial, motion to dismiss the case or dismiss certain charges, or a motion for release without bail.
Some common types of legal motions used in a criminal case are: