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New York Criminal Hearings

The Pre-trial Hearing

In New York State criminal defense, the criminal defense lawyer and the client are entitled to pre trial hearings to resolve issues of law that a jury would not consider. Westchester county criminal defense lawyers use hearing names to ask for the specific hearing. This is also common in other courts in New York State such as New York City, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland and Orange Counties. It is important for the client to understand what hearings are being requested and for what reason. This criminal defense blog reviews the common hearing names and substance of the pre trial hearings.

Many of the hearings listed below start as a written motion by defense counsel but in order for the court to make a decision live testimony is needed from witnesses.

The pre trial hearings listed blow refer to court cases that established the rule of law the hearing controls.

Types of Hearings

1. Clayton Hearing -- A hearing requested by a criminal defense lawyer in New York to seek to have the case dismissed in the interest of justice. In Westchester County the criminal defense lawyer will usually make a motion on paper in advance of this hearing.

2. Competency hearing -- A hearing to determine if the accused understands the charges, proceedings and can assist in his/her own defense.

3. Darden Hearing -- This hearing involves informants and whether or not the identity of the informants should be disclosed to the defense.

4. Dunaway Hearing -- Determines if a statement obtained after an accused arrest should be suppressed because the accused was arrested without probable cause.

5. Forman Hearing -- Often an Order of Protection is issued ex parte (without the accused presence in court) the accused is entitled to a Forman hearing to determine if the ex parte Order of Protection should be continued.

6. Frye Hearing -- If a scientific procedure was used during the course of an investigation a Frye hearing may be necessary to determine if the scientific procedures are accepted and reliable to be admissible at trial.

7. Huntley Hearing -- The issue that needs to be determined is if the accused's statement to the police was voluntarily made to be admissible at trial.

8. Ingle Hearing -- This hearing is used to determine if the stop of a vehicle by police officers was legal. This type of hearing is common in DWI cases where the accused is stop at a road block or sobriety check point.

9. Mapp Hearing -- The court must determine if physical evidence should be suppressed. Physical evidence includes drugs or a gun. The hearing could also address if the police had consent to search the area or property of the accused.

10. Payton Hearing -- The Court must determine if there was an emergency circumstance to justify an arrest in the accused's home without a warrant.

11. Preliminary Hearing/Felony Hearing -- The court must determine if the accused should be held in jail and if there is reasonable cause to believe the defendant committed a felony.

12. VOP Hearing -- Although not a Pretrial Hearing this is a Violation of Probation Hearing conducted by a judge to determine if the person on probation violated the terms of the probation sentence.

13. Restitution Hearing -- This hearing determines if restitution is owed to the complaintant and how much restution is due.

14. Rodriguez Hearing -- This is a hearing to determine if the accused and the witness knew each other for identification purposes.

15. Sandoval Hearing -- A pre trial hearing to determine what can be used at trial to impeach the defendant.

16. SORA Hearing -- This hearing is held to determine what sex offender level a convicted person will have.

17. Ventimiglia Hearing -- Usually conducted at the same time as a Sandoval hearing this hearing determines if the prosecution can use any uncharged crimes of the defendant during the government's case.

18. Wade Hearing -- Determines the admissibility of an identification of the defendant by a witness. Most commonly a photo array or show up identification.

It is important for the criminal defense attorney to explain these hearings to an accused. Attorneys will commonly use these hearing names but often the accused does not know what is required at the hearing. The top criminal defense attorneys will explain to their client the options for proceeding, the available hearings and a legal strategy for the defense.


If you or a loved one has a question about the legal process, pre trial hearings or the criminal defense of a matter it is important to consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights