Court This Week

We have multiple motions hearings this week.  What is a motions hearing?  When a case gets set for trial, it also gets set for a hearing before the trial date so that the judge can rule on any motions filed by either the prosecution or the defense.  Motions are basically requests being made by either side.  The most common type of motion is a motion to suppress evidence.  These are called constitutional motions.

Constitutional motions are those motions that challenge whether law enforcement violated a person’s constitutional rights in obtaining evidence.  Evidence can include physical evidence, statements and/or general observations.  For example, DUI investigations usually start as a result of a traffic stop.  Police must have reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop.  If an officer stops a driver, but does not have reasonable suspicion for the contact, this a violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibition of unreasonable seizure.  Let’s say when the officer contacts the driver, he notices an odor of alcohol, bloodshot watery eyes, and slurred speech.  If the stop was not supported by reasonable suspicion, then these observations would be suppressed, meaning the prosecution cannot use these observations as evidence to try to prove the DUI.

There are other types of motions that may be filed, such as a motion to add or amend a charge or a motion to request information about any prior acts the prosecution might want to introduce at trial to try to prove their case.  These are not constitutional motions, but rather, these types of motions are geared towards eliminating the possibility of trial by ambush.

Monday:  Arapahoe County (motions hearing in the afternoon)

Tuesday:  Jefferson & Arapahoe County (motions hearing in the morning in Jefferson County)

Wednesday:  Arapahoe County

Thursday:  Denver County

Friday:  Denver Municipal and Boulder County