What is a "motion"?

Related Ads

Need Professional Help? Talk to a Lawyer

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

searchbox small

A motion is a formal request for a judge to make an order or ruling on an issue in a case. The parties can bring motions before, during, and sometimes even after trial. A motion may involve a simple scheduling matter, such as the prosecution's or defense's desire to postpone a preliminary hearing. (See Continuances in Criminal Cases.) Lawyers often make motions like this orally.

Some motions consist of written briefs that raise crucial legal issues. With substantial motions, judges often consider the lawyers' briefs, then later listen to their oral arguments. An example of a significant motion is one to suppress evidence, which typically asks the judge to rule that crucial prosecution evidence is inadmissible at trial because the police obtained it illegally. (SeeĀ What is a motion to suppress?)

Talk to a Defense Lawyer

Charged with a crime? Talk to a lawyer.
how it works 1
Tell us about your case
how it works 2
Get matched with local lawyers
how it works 1
Connect with your lawyers