If one has a skilled criminal defense attorney working on his or behalf, the lawyer will be familiar with California’s Penal Code 955 and know when to rely upon it to best protect his or her client. Often, a defense attorney will make a Penal Code 995 motion, which is a request for the judge to dismiss one or more of the counts against the defendant. Typically, a 995 motion is made immediately following the preliminary hearings, as the next step in the criminal court process in the State of California. Simply speaking, attorneys use a 955 motion when they would like information set aside to better a defendant’s chance for avoiding a conviction or a harsher sentence than he or she should be given.

Understanding A 955 Motion
The 955 motion also is known as the “motion to set aside information.” Once a judge has determined, at the close of the preliminary hearing, whether or not sufficient evidence exists to proceed with a trial, a defense attorney then will contemplate if a 955 motion is an appropriate action to take on behalf of his or her client. In accordance with California Penal Code 955, an attorney may make a 955 motion if he or she believes the defendant was illegally committed and/or committed without probable cause. To be illegally committed typically means the defendant was denied his or her rights during court proceedings, which may include the right to obtain an attorney; to right to have a one-session preliminary hearing; or the right to counter question the prosecution’s witnesses. When filing a Penal Code 955 motion in California, the attorney often believes probable cause does not exist. This means the attorney does not think the facts of the case would lead an everyday person to strongly believe the defendant is guilty of the alleged crime. Under Penal Code 955, an attorney can raise a 955 motion if he or she believes the case lacks sufficient evidence; the case is based on illegal evidence; or the case involves factual errors.

955 Motion Procedure
If an attorney makes a 955 motion than a 955 motion hearing is set, often on the date of the arraignment in trial court. At the 955 hearing, the defense and the prosecution are able to present oral arguments before a judge. The judge then will determine if the defendant was indeed legally committed and/or if probable cause is lacking. Commonly, if the judge grants the 955 motion, in light of Penal Code 955, and decides to “set aside information” then the charges or additional enhancements of the case are no longer part of the criminal court process for the defendant.

Is A 955 Motion Right For Me?
It is important, when going through the criminal court process, to become familiar with the various aspects of the procedures. Discuss with an attorney specifically about the importance of making a 955 motion. Often, an attorney will make a 955 motion when he or she believes the defendant’s constitutional rights have been violated and a judge just may dismiss the entire case against his or her client. It is important to understand, based on California Penal Code 955, a judge only will dismiss a case or certain charges if he or she believes one or more of the defendant’s constitutional rights were violated during the preliminary hearing and/or if he or she believes there is not sufficient evidence to hold the defendant to answer to the charges brought against him or her by the prosecution. It is best to rely on a trusted attorney when deciding upon if a 955 motion is appropriate. If a 955 motion is not made then the criminal court process typically moves ahead to the trial preparation period.