Motions to Dismiss in Criminal Cases

by | Sep 8, 2020

What Is A Motion to Dismiss?

A motion to dismiss is a motion in which one party asks the judge to dismiss the other party’s case before it reaches the jury.

In a criminal proceeding, N.C.G.S. §15A-1227 allows for a motion to dismiss for insufficiency of the evidence to sustain a conviction. In North Carolina, “the standard of review on a motion to dismiss is whether there is substantial evidence of each essential element of the offense charged and of the defendant being the perpetrator of the offense.” State v. Clagon, 207 N.C. App. 346, 350, 700 S.E.2d 89, 92 (2010). In State v. Angram, No. COA19-151 (N.C. Ct. App. 18 Feb. 18, 2020), the Law Office of Mark L. Hayes represented a client who appealed his conviction for robbery with a dangerous weapon. There, Mr. Hayes argued the trial court erred in denying his client’s motion to dismiss due to insufficiency of the evidence. In Angram, the Court of Appeals found the State failed to present substantial evidence of each essential element of the offense and thus the trial court should have granted Mr. Hayes’ client’s motion to dismiss. However, each legal case has its unique set of factors considered in a judgment, and you should consult with a licensed attorney to determine the viability of your appeal.

Motions to dismiss are a powerful procedural tool available in both civil and criminal cases. If your motion to dismiss was denied by the trial court, it could be a possible issue on appeal if certain steps were taken. Retaining seasoned appellate counsel to move forward with your case helps to ensure that each part of your appeal occurs smoothly. Mark L. Hayes has worked on nearly two hundred appellate cases at all levels and also has experience in providing consultation services to trial attorneys.

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