U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

DNA - A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook Inventory

Third-Party Defense Motions

Home  |  Glossary  |  Resources  |  Help  |  Contact Us  |  Course Map

A third party defense motion may be brought to preclude the defense from going down blind alleys, causing confusion to the jury, or attacking the prosecution's witness/victim. For example, if a victim misidentifies an assailant in a line-up and the prosecutor subsequently establishes through DNA testing that the misidentified party could not be the assailant, then the prosecutor may bring a motion to preclude the defense from presenting this person as an alternative suspect.

Third-party defense motions may also be used when the defense asserts that the crime was committed by a relative of the defendant.  Once the prosecutor has excluded the relative with DNA, this motion will prevent the defense from making this claim.

Back Forward