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Tacoma, WA |
Attorney answers 2


Knapstad is a pretrial motion to dismiss for insufficient evidence. This motion hearing is named after the case State v. Knapstad. If the attorney can show that there are no material disputed facts and that the facts do not establish a prima facie case, as a matter of law, the Judge may dismiss the case. If the Prosecutor denies or disputes certain facts the motion may be defeated.
“...a trial court may dismiss if the State’s pleadings including any bill of particulars, are insufficient to raise a jury issue on all elements of the charge.”


To prevail on a motion to dismiss under Knapstad, the accused must establish that no material facts are in dispute and the undisputed facts are insufficient as a matter of law to establish a prima facie case of guilt. If allegations of material fact are denied or disputed by the State, the trial court must deny the motion. State v. Knapstad, 107 Wn.2d 345, at 356 (1986).

However, when an accused person moves to dismiss for insufficient evidence at the close of the prosecutor's case, and the court denies the motion, the accused waives the right to appeal the denial when he puts on his own evidence. State v. Allan, 88 Wn.2d 394 (1977); State v. Smith, 56 Wn. App. 909 (1990).

What this means is when an accused person goes to trial and puts on evidence the accused person cannot appeal the denial of a Knapstad motion. State v. Jackson, 82 Wn. App. 594 (1996).