MOTIONS IN LIMINE

Your defense attorney should be filing motions in limine in most criminal cases, especially criminal sexual conduct cases.

A motion in limine is a pretrial motion to limit or control what type of evidence gets to the jury. For example, in a criminal sexual conduct case, the prosecutor will frequently refer to the accusing person as a “victim.”

However, there is no “victim” of a crime until a jury makes a finding of guilt. Therefore, a prosecutor’s use of the word “victim” during the course of a trial is improper and undermines the defendant’s right to a presumption of innocence. A standard motion in limine in a criminal case would be to obtain an order from the court directing the prosecutor to not refer to the accusing person as a “victim.”

Another common motion in limine is a motion to prevent the prosecutor from telling the jury about any past criminal history about the defendant. The law is clear that the prosecutor cannot use most criminal convictions as a way to inflame the jury against the defendant. However, there are many situations where a prosecutor may properly attempt to inflame the jury with past criminal history. The defense must be proactive to prevent this prejudice from getting to the jury. A common motion that we would file would be to obtain an order to prohibit the prosecutor or any witness from informing the jury about a prior criminal matter.

Another standard set of motions in limine involve the use of expert testimony. Many times a prosecutor will try to use improper or questionable testimony of so called “experts” to establish some pattern or “consistent with” behavior to support the charges against the defendant. Under the law, the judge has a duty to keep fake science out of evidence to the jury. Many times an aggressive defense strategy is needed to overcome improper “expert” evidence offered by the prosecution, which is normally only done to stack the deck against the defendant because the rest of the prosecutor’s case is so deficient.

Conversely, we file necessary motions to make sure our evidence and experts are allowed to be offered at trial.

At Nye & Associates, we have a consistent record of aggressive pretrial motions to help narrow the issues of the case and present the best possible defense to the jury.

 

Nye & Associates, PLLC are Criminal Defense Attorneys serving Roscommon, Grayling, Saginaw, and the surrounding area.