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TN Criminal Case - What's the deadline for filing a motion?

Nashville, TN |

Criminal case in TN.
Suspected was arrested.
Hired a lawyer.
Posted bail.
Suspect has been arraigned.
Received Discovery.
Next court date is quickly approaching.
Is there a deadline to file a motion? Or can they be filed the day before the court date?
(Please don't answer with "you should hire a lawyer" or "ask your lawyer")

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Attorney answers 6

Best Answer

There are motion deadlines but most but not all judges will allow you to file motions up until a couple of weeks before the trial date if the motions deal with issues that might affect the outcome of the case. The rationale is if the judge disallows a motion to be heard because it is past a deadline, and the motion could have affected the outcome of the case,then their is a possibility that a conviction could be overturned on appeal for disallowing a hearing on the motion. Judges don't like to get overturned on appeal, so most of them do not go by the filing deadline which is usually between the first and second settlement date.However if your attorney forgets to file an important motion and the judge is strict by the deadline then it could seriously affect the outcome of the case due to the late filing of the motion. In other words, Its better to file early and try to set the hearing off to a later date if there is a possibility that the case can be settled without hearing the requested motion. Good Luck!


He's been arraigned and received discovery therefore he has an attorney. He needs to talk to his attorney who will know more about the case them we do since your question contains no usable information, not even the charge. your request is an impossible question. Deadline to file motions is court specific and you did not indicated what court he is in.

Please repost your question and in the question, list the court or jurisdiction and a local atty in that area may be able to assist in answering your question. In Memphis, we have 20 days from arraignment to file motions but the court does not hold us to it.

Claiborne H. Ferguson, Esq. is * Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. * Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization.


What kind of motion?

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The Defendant would have been given a calendar for this case at arraignment. If not, check PACER for the docket and schedule for this case.


I agree with the prior attorneys and would add that you haven't specified what motion you think should be filed. There isn't always a motion that needs to be filed. Motion to suppress? What are you trying to suppress? Motion for discovery? What haven't you gotten yet in your initial discovery? There are tons of different types of motions that could be filed. Motions are filed when there is something the defendant wants done in his case to help his case. But there isn't always a need for a motion. And there isn't always a legal reason or right to file a motion.

Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship. I provide this service for educational purposes only. I will take no action on your behalf unless you have hired me and a written retainer agreement is signed. I am licensed only in Tennessee and I strongly suggest you consult with an attorney in your city and state as Statute of Limitation deadlines can limit your recovery.


Me Ferguson is correct. In Nashville it depends on the judge. There are 6 different crim court judges and they all have different rules.

Call 615-736-9596 for consultation. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. This answer is for information only. Call me or another attorney to represent you.

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