After the preliminary hearing, and before a criminal case goes to trial, the prosecutor and the defense team usually appear before a criminal court judge and make pre-trial motions. Pre-trial motions are legal arguments presented by the prosecution and the defense in an effort to set the parameters for trial, should one take place. In pre-trial motions, determinations may be made on what physical evidence and testimony can be used and what legal arguments can and cannot be made. The defense may offer valid reasons why the defendant should not be forced to stand trial and that the case should be dismissed altogether.
Specific possibilities are countless for arguments made during pre-trial motions and the following are common examples of pre-trial motions that might be made in a criminal case: