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Filing for a motion to dismiss indictments

Seminole, FL |

My boyfriend's public defender has recently removed himself from his case.
My boyfriend is now looking to file for a motion to dismiss his federal indictments for the reason of lack of evidence and double jeopardy.

Without a lawyer- can some one please tell me how to go about doing this and also point me in the direction of a notice of motion and the actual motion to dismiss form. Even just an example if applicable

I haven't been able to find one for a federal criminal case.

Thank you for your time

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Attorney answers 4


Forms are not going to help you here. Preparing a motion to dismiss is fact specific and you will really need an attorney to do it. You should, instead, focus your time on arranging for another attorney for your boyfriend. If his public defender removed himself because the attorney-client relationship had deteriorated and was not productive, the court will appoint your boyfriend another court appointed lawyer at no cost to your boyfriend. It is unusual that a new appointment was not made at the time that his PD withdrew. I suggest that you call the public defender's office and try to determine whether someone else has been appointed to represent your boyfriend.


There really are no form motions to file in federal court. The laws relating to double jeopardy and dismissal are very complicated. Although, for example, double jeopardy could be a basis to dismiss an indictment, lack of evidence isn't. And double jeopardy means that he was already tried or convicted of the same offense in federal court. Having the same charge in state court is not double jeopardy. Even if his public defender has removed himself, your boyfriend is still entitled to a lawyer. I strongly urge him to have a new lawyer appointed because a mistake in federal court could cost him dearly in the form of extra years in prison.

This answer is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended as the practice of law in any jurisdiction in which I am not licensed. The answer does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. The answer is based only on the information provided, and may be inaccurate in the context of additional facts that have not been provided. The questioner should be aware that I am only licensed to practice law in the state and federal courts of Minnesota. Accordingly, before taking any action or refraining from taking any action, the questioner should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in his or her jurisdiction.


Your boyfriend is entitled to a lawyer if he is indigent, unless he requests to represent himself. If the court allowed his public defender to withdraw from representing him, the court will appoint another lawyer to do so. Although your efforts to assist are very laudable, it is not possible to find your way through these issues without knowledge of and experience in federal criminal law.

Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.


I agree with all of my colleagues who have answered, but you don't have to take our word for it. Go to the clerk's office at the federal district court and look through some case files. In most districts they are now computerized and can be read on public access terminals in the clerk's office. See what goes into the motions in well defended federal cases.

Your friend needs an attorney. The judge has seen many cases in which the client and the first attorney appointed could not work together successfully, and requests for change of appointed counsel are not unusual. But federal defense is not a do-it-yourself project. I recently finished a federal jury trial in which two of the defendants were attorneys, one a criminal defense attorney with many years of experience. You can be sure that neither of them tried to handle his own case and both retained able and respected counsel.