The criminal justice system does not work quite the way we see it portrayed in TV dramas. If those shows were believable, every case that reached the court in Virginia would take about an hour at best or a last a single TV season at worst.
The reality is that a criminal case might take months, even years, to work through the system. There are many steps required and at every one of them, the person facing criminal charges stands to benefit if he or she is working with an attorney with skill and experience.
If you've never been through the court system before, you likely don't know that cases are very often resolved before ever coming to trial. Achieving the most favorable outcome for the defense depends on solid research of the 1law and examination of the elements of the evidence in your specific case. Attention to detail often leads to winning a case through pretrial motions. To learn what happens in pretrial activity, read on.
Every state has different rules of engagement. Typically, though, pretrial motions are made to the court between a defendant's formal arraignment and before trial. Both the prosecution and defense can use these times to effectively set the stage for what evidence will be allowed to be introduced, what legal arguments will be accepted and set other trial boundaries. If there is an argument to make that the defendant should not face trial, it will be made during pretrial motions.
No two cases are ever the same. What type of motion might be feasible depends on the unique circumstances you face. Putting the matter into proper legal perspective is why consulting experienced counsel early is always recommended.