Interviewer: When does a case go to trial?
Pre-Trial, Your Attorney Will File a Motion to Suppress Any Incriminating Evidence or Dismiss the Case, if Merited
Stuart Austin: Much will occur before the case gets to trial. All the discovery issues have to be dealt with and the attorney has to obtain any video evidence, police transmissions, paperwork that was filed and any statements from a complaining witness. There is a tremendous amount of paperwork that has to be completed and then usually the case doesn’t go to trial until the attorney files a motion. The motion will attempt to suppress the evidence against the client, as well as to dismiss the case if there’s an applicable reason.
The Judge Will Schedule a Hearing to Review the Evidence and the Motions Presented by the Defense Attorney
After all those motions are decided, a judge will probably grant a hearing because he wants testimony regarding some more information regarding the case. He wants to hear from the police officers how the arrest happened and that’s when he decides whether he should suppress the evidence or whether he should suppress the statement or whether he should make another ruling with the case.
He also might, after hearing evidence, urge the district attorney to create a better plea offer. Once all those hearing is complete, there is always the possibility of some more different motions that come up.
Complicated Cases May Take up to Two Years To Come To Trial; Most Are Heard within Several Months
There are cases that can take a significant amount of time to come to trial. Because everybody has to do their due diligence, that process could take anywhere from just a couple of months to a year or two for some intricate cases where there are confidential informants and there are audio or videotapes and there is information that has been sealed or search warrants to obtain.