Rule 6.419 Motion for Directed Verdict of Acquittal

(A) Before Submission to the Jury. After the prosecutor has rested the prosecution’s case-in-chief or after the close of all the evidence, the court on the defendant’s motion must direct a verdict of acquittal on any charged offense for which the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction. The court may on its own consider whether the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction. If the court denies a motion for a judgment of acquittal at the close of the government’s evidence, the defendant may offer evidence without having reserved the right to do so.

(B) Reserving Decision. The court may reserve decision on the motion, proceed with the trial (where the motion is made before the close of all the evidence), submit the case to the jury, and decide the motion either before the jury returns a verdict or after it returns a verdict of guilty or is discharged without having returned a verdict. If the court reserves decision, it must decide the motion on the basis of the evidence at the time the ruling was reserved.

(C) After Jury Verdict. After a jury verdict, the defendant may file an original or renewed motion for directed verdict of acquittal in the same manner as provided by MCR 6.431(A) for filing a motion for a new trial.

(D) Bench Trial. In an action tried without a jury, after the prosecutor has rested the prosecution's case-in-chief, the defendant, without waiving the right to offer evidence if the motion is not granted, may move for acquittal on the ground that a reasonable doubt exists. The court may then determine the facts and render a verdict of acquittal, or may decline to render judgment until the close of all the evidence. If the court renders a verdict of acquittal, the court shall make findings of fact.

(E) Conditional New Trial Ruling. If the court grants a directed verdict of acquittal after the jury has returned a guilty verdict, it must also conditionally rule on any motion for a new trial by determining whether it would grant the motion if the directed verdict of acquittal is vacated or reversed.

(F) Explanation of Rulings on Record. The court must state orally on the record or in a written ruling made a part of the record its reasons for granting or denying a motion for a directed verdict of acquittal and for conditionally granting or denying a motion for a new trial.