What are Motions in Vermont Criminal Defense?

Published by Jessica Burke on

Motions are the way that parties to criminal litigation communicate in writing to the Vermont Superior Court.

For instance, let’s say that a defendant has an important doctor’s appointment at the same time that he is scheduled to be in Vermont criminal court. The defendant’s attorney could (1) file a motion to continue the criminal court hearing or (2) file a motion to waive the defendant’s appearance at the criminal court hearing if it is not a substantive hearing.

Motions are how the parties to litigation officially “talk” to each other outside of court.

There are specific requirements about typeface and format for motions.
Vermont Rule of Criminal Procedure 47 outlines Motions as follows:

(a) Motions. An application to the court for an order shall be by motion which, unless made during a hearing or trial, shall be made in writing, shall state the grounds therefor, including a concise statement of the facts and law relied on, and shall set forth the relief or order sought. It may be supported by affidavit.
(b) Disposition of Written Motions With or Without Argument.

(1) Memorandum in Opposition. Any party opposed to the granting of a written motion shall file a memorandum in opposition thereto, not more than 14 days after service of the motion, unless otherwise ordered by the court. The memorandum may be accompanied by affidavit. If a memorandum in opposition is not timely filed when required under this rule, the court may dispose of the motion without the memorandum.
(2) Oral Argument in the Discretion of the Court. Unless otherwise required by these rules, oral argument shall be deemed waived unless requested by an interested party or required by the court. In any case, the court may dispose of the motion without argument.
(c) Findings. When factual issues are involved in determining a motion, the court shall state its essential findings on the record.

Jessica Burke

Jessica Burke is a licensed Vermont attorney and the founder of Burke Law. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Boston College in Political Science, and then received her law degree from Washington & Lee Law School. After law school she worked with several top law firms before settling in Vermont and building her own practice. In addition to being licensed to practice law in the state of Vermont, she also holds a State Bar certification in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, among others. She specializes in criminal defense, including DUI defense, homicides, and sex crimes.

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