Motion for a Probable Cause Hearing
A rarely used motion in New Jersey is a motion for a probable cause hearing. Even many experienced criminal defense attorneys don’t know that they exist or have never filed for one. We file them several times a year and they have been successful. On the rare occasion, it has resulted in a case being dismissed. However, the real goal is to force the State’s hand into taking action on a case.
When it comes to the defendant, time is often on your side. Witnesses move, forget, die, disappear, etc. On the rare occasion, evidence can get destroyed or lost. A significant period between arrest and conviction can help with plea bargains and sentencing. However, with computer crime cases, there often reaches a point where it has gone on for too long and the State needs to be forced to lay its cards on the table or dismiss the case. Forensic evidence doesn’t disappear, forget, etc, so the evidence is what it is.
Computer crime cases tend to take a long time to put together due to a variety of reasons. A probable cause motion can force the State to act when they are not ready. This may leave holes open for the defense to explore. Even if that doesn’t happen though, it will still allow the defendant to bring the case to some sort of conclusion so they can move on with their lives.