The jury decides whether a defendant is guilty or not, but the judge also plays an important role in a criminal case. The judge is responsible for ensuring that both sides follow the proper procedures when presenting their cases. Basically, it is the judge that is responsible for making sure every defendant is given a fair trial. But, what if you are not happy with the judge presiding over your case? Can criminal defendants ask for a new judge? Here’s what you should know:
What is A Motion to Recuse A Judge?
Every criminal defendant has the right to file a motion to recuse a judge, which is a request to have the judge replaced with a new one. However, this type of motion should only be filed when the defendant believes the judge has a conflict of interest that should prevent him from being involved in the case.
For example, let’s say the judge is related to someone involved in the case. He may find it difficult to remain impartial if a relative is involved, which is why he should not be allowed to preside over the case. Judges should also be replaced if they have a prejudice against someone involved in the case. The negative feelings can sometimes stem from a previous run-in between the defendant and the judge. In other cases, the judge may be prejudiced because he is stereotyping someone involved in the case.
Filing A Motion to Recuse A Judge
If you believe the judge should be replaced, talk to your criminal defense attorney about filing a motion to recuse the judge. The law requires criminal defendants to file this motion within 10 days after the case is assigned to court. But, many defendants are not made aware of the judge’s conflict of interest until after these 10 days have passed. In this case, you may still be able to file the motion as long as you can explain why it was not filed within the 10-day timeframe.
Anyone who files this type of motion must also submit affidavits from a minimum of two people that support the claim that the judge cannot be impartial in your case. If enough evidence of bias is presented, the judge will disqualify himself from the case. The chief justice will then be notified so he can assign a new judge to the case.
Having a biased judge preside over your case violates your right to a fair trial. If you believe your judge is biased, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Let our team fight to replace the judge and protect your rights. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.