blog home Criminal Defense All About California Penal Code 995: Motion To Dismiss

All About California Penal Code 995: Motion To Dismiss

By Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on November 30, 2023

In the intricate realm of criminal law, defendants possess certain rights and avenues to challenge legal proceedings. One such mechanism is found in California’s Penal Code 995, which provides the framework for a crucial legal tool – the motion to dismiss.

Understanding California Penal Code 995 and the “motion to dismiss” is crucial for defendants navigating the criminal justice system. Armed with knowledge about the purpose, grounds, process, and potential outcomes, individuals facing criminal charges can make informed decisions about their legal strategy.

Understanding Penal Code 995

Penal Code 995 serves as a safeguard in the pretrial phase, allowing a defendant to seek the dismissal of an indictment or information. The primary objective is to ensure that legal procedures are followed and there is a reasonable or probable cause for the charges brought against the accused.

A successful motion under Penal Code 995 can have profound implications for a case. It may result in the dismissal of the indictment or information, sparing the defendant from the impending trial. This emphasizes the critical role of Penal Code 995 in upholding the principles of justice and ensuring a fair legal process.

Grounds for Filing a Motion To Dismiss

Various grounds may warrant the filing of a motion to dismiss under California Penal Code 995. These include procedural errors, lack of probable cause, or other legal issues that compromise the integrity of the indictment or information. Defendants can challenge the validity of the charging documents based on these grounds, asserting their right to a fair legal process.

Procedural errors may be foundational in a motion to dismiss. These errors may include a failure to comply with legal requirements in the presentation of evidence or the unlawful obtaining of evidence. Additionally, if there is a lack of probable cause – a reasonable belief that the accused committed the crime – it provides a substantive basis for challenging the charges.

The Process of Filing and Arguing a Motion To Dismiss

The process of filing and arguing a motion under California Penal Code § 995 involves a strategic approach within the legal system.

  • Filing motion: Filing a motion is the initial step where the defendant, through legal representation, formally submits a Penal Code § 995 motion to the trial court. This motion challenges the validity of the indictment or information.
  • Choosing a venue: In this step, legal strategists decide whether the motion should be presented before a judge different from the one who oversaw the preliminary hearing. This strategic decision aims to provide a fresh perspective on the case.
  • Fresh review: The trial court reevaluates the case with new eyes, serving as a check on potential errors from the preliminary hearing court. The focus is on ensuring a fair and thorough assessment of the evidence.
  • Inferring favor: The trial court does not reexamine the preliminary hearing record as if it conducted the hearing itself. Instead, it grants all reasonable inferences in favor of the preliminary hearing judge’s decision, respecting the initial determination.
  • Assessing evidence: The trial court carefully examines the evidence presented during the preliminary hearing. This step determines whether the evidence is sufficient to warrant a trial.
  • Possible error: In some cases, the trial court may identify a possible error in the preliminary hearing judge’s decision, concluding that the evidence was genuinely insufficient. This realization may lead to the setting aside of the information and a dismissal of the case.
  • Case dismissal: The final outcome of a successful Penal Code § 995 motion is a case dismissal, where the trial court, upon finding insufficient evidence, exercises its authority to set aside the information. This marks the conclusion of the legal process initiated by the motion.

Potential Outcomes and Implications

The importance of legal representation cannot be overstated in the context of a motion to dismiss. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can navigate the complexities of Penal Code 995, assess the viability of such a motion, and craft compelling legal arguments. Their knowledge is instrumental in building a solid defense.

Defendants are strongly advised to consult with a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer to evaluate the viability of a motion to dismiss under Penal Code 995. Attorneys can provide invaluable insights into the specific circumstances of a case, guide defendants through the legal process, and develop a strategic defense tailored to the unique aspects of the charges.

Protect Your Future with Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP

For personalized guidance and a thorough assessment of your case, consult the experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP. Our renowned criminal defense firm is ready to stand by your side in the pursuit of justice. We are here to ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

Contact us at (213) 688-0460 to schedule a free consultation today.

Related Articles:

Posted in: Criminal Defense