Want to learn about a probable cause motion in a misdemeanor case in California? The Simmrin Law Group can help you understand Penal Code 991 motions and how they apply to your case. These motions can allow a lawyer to get misdemeanor charges dismissed before a criminal trial.
A PC 991 motion requires the court to look for probable cause before proceeding with a criminal case. A judge can dismiss charges if there is insufficient probable cause. Get additional information about filing this kind of motion by calling us at (310) 997-4688.
PC 991 Motions
PC 991 allows lawyers to request that the court dismiss a misdemeanor charge. This motion is filed at an individual’s arraignment hearing. An arraignment hearing is the first hearing an individual attends after an arrest.
A number of other things happen at an arraignment hearing in California. During this hearing:
- An individual learns about the charge(s) they are facing
- An individual must plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest to those charges
Individuals can only request permission to submit a probable cause motion if they plead not guilty. After making this motion, a judge has to consider the evidence associated with the case. The judge can then allow the motion to pass. In this case, an individual’s charges are dismissed. The court can also deny the motion, which allows the criminal trial to proceed.
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Individuals Allowed to File a PC 991 Motion
Not everyone charged with a crime in California can file a PC 991 motion. This motion is only available to certain individuals charged with misdemeanors. These individuals can file a PC 991 motion if:
- They were in custody before their arraignment hearing
- They entered a not guilty plea
Individuals who plead guilty or no contest cannot file a PC 991 motion. These motions are also not used in cases involving felony charges. As you can see, the uses of a PC 991 motion are somewhat limited. However, they do work to get some charges dismissed in California.
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Evidence Considered for a PC 991 Motion
PC 991 motions are handled at an individual’s arraignment hearing. Generally, this hearing takes place within 48 hours of an arrest. Therefore, there is often limited evidence available to the court. A judge can end up relying on things like:
- Arrest warrants or search warrants
- Reports filed by police officers
- Sworn complaints and associated documents
However, the court can sometimes request a continuance for “good cause.” This allows the court to put off making a discussion for up to three court days. Note that “court days” do not include weekends or holidays.
Outcomes of a PC 991 Motion in California
A PC 991 motion can lead to the dismissal of misdemeanor charges in California. However, you should know that charges are sometimes refiled after getting dismissed. The prosecution will have up to 15 days to file charges again.
The prosecution can use this period to gather additional evidence. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can file another PC 991 motion if charges are filed again. The judge would then consider all of the evidence once again.
Note that the prosecution cannot file charges for a third time if the judge dismisses the charges again. Find out more about the outcomes of a PC 991 motion by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. We’re here to help you understand this aspect of California’s legal code. Call us today at (310) 997-4688 to learn more.
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Benefits of a Successful PC 991 Motion
Many people are unsure if they should file a PC 991 motion at their arraignment hearing or not. Filing a PC 991 motion is often in a defendant’s best interest. In the best-case scenario, a judge will dismiss an individual’s charges. This would end the criminal case, allowing individuals to avoid a conviction, fines, or jail time.
There are no other drawbacks if a judge rejects a PC 991 motion. In this situation, an individual faces the same criminal charges they were already handling. There are no special penalties associated with a rejected PC 991 motion.
Ask a Lawyer About a Probable Cause Hearing in a Misdemeanor Case
Penal Code 991 allows lawyers to file a probable cause motion in misdemeanor cases. A PC 991 motion requests that the judge dismiss criminal charges. The Simmrin Law Group can work to get your charges dismissed if you were accused of a misdemeanor. Allow us to help you right now. Just call us at (310) 997-4688. You can also complete our online contact form for a free consultation.