Motions to suppress in criminal cases - timeliness

October 2007
By Judge John Wittmayer, Multnomah County Circuit Court

It is not unusual for defense counsel in criminal cases to file motions to suppress shortly before trial. Counsel should be aware that untimely motions to suppress may be denied on that basis alone.

UTCR 4.010 requires such motions to be filed "not less than 21 days before trial or within seven days of arraignment, whichever is later, unless a different time is permitted by the court for good cause shown." On August 15, the Court of Appeals issued its opinion in State v. Betnar, 214 Or App 416, ruling that the trial judge did not abuse his discretion in denying a motion to suppress that was filed on the eve of trial.