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What is a Clayton motion?

Watervliet, NY |

lawyer mentioned it, but did not explain

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Attorney answers 4


A clayton motion is a request to dismiss a case in the interest of justice. There are numerous factors to be considered by a judge before deciding whether or not to grant the request. Your lawyer should be able to explain further. Good luck.

I have been a criminal defense attorney in New York for over 20 years. Feel free to view my website at or contact me either by phone at 718-208-6094 or via email at This answer is only for informational purposes and is not meant as legal advice.



thank you


A clayton motion is an application to the court to dismiss a case in the interest of justice. There are a variety of reason on which to base such a motion and you should discuss this with the attorney.


The other attorneys are correct it is a motion to dismiss in the interest of justice. Sometimes a judges hands are tied by strict legislative guidelines and mandatory minimums and the result is unjust. This is a way to try and get around that.

All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. However, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication. For a privileged private consultation, contact me at 212-385-8600 or via my website


A Clayton motion is an application by the defense to dismiss the charges in the interest of justice (good cause).

So even if the evidence is stroong and/or person is absolutely guilty, the defense argues that there is mitigation which would justify dismissal of the charges most likely over the prosecutors objection.

Ultimately, the judge makes the final call.

Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo, LLP
President, Criminal Courts Bar Association of Nassau County
1103 Stewart Avenue, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
(O) 516-408-3666
(F) 516-408-3833

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