Going to trial: Motion for judgment of acquittal

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One of the many benefits of hiring a well-versed Miami criminal defense attorney to handle your case it that he or she will not allow your civil liberties to be infringed upon by the prosecution. For instance, in the U.S. judicial system, the burden of proof falls squarely on the state, meaning that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you have committed a criminal act.

With that in mind, upon viewing the evidence and listening to the testimony of witnesses called forward by the prosecution, your Miami criminal defense attorney may deem that the opposing side has not adequately made a case against you. In this instance, once the prosecution has closed its case, your lawyer may then file a motion to dismiss the charges against you, citing that the state has failed to produce sufficient evidence of your guilt.

This right is clearly outlined in Florida Statute 3.380, which states:

“If, at the close of the evidence for the state or at the close of all the evidence in the cause, the court is of the opinion that the evidence is insufficient to warrant a conviction, it may, and on the motion of the prosecuting attorney or the defendant shall, enter a judgment of acquittal.”

While this motion is commonly denied, the chance that you will be acquitted of the charges against you typically makes this measure worth pursuing, provided that the prosecution’s case is justifiably lacking. If the presiding judge denies this motion, your Miami criminal defense attorney will prepare to present your case before the court. Remember, though, that plea bargaining remains an option throughout the criminal process, so your lawyer may also consult you about striking a deal with the opposition based on the strength of their case.

If you’re facing criminal charges, an experienced Miami criminal defense lawyer like Scott A. Ferris, Esq. can help ensure that your legal rights are preserved, and will pursue every available avenue to obtain justice on your behalf.