Evidence Could Be Suppressed Prior to a Trial
During fiscal year 2016, 151,460 people were taken into custody by federal authorities according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, just because a person is taken into custody doesn’t mean that he or she is guilty of a crime. An attorney may attempt to get evidence suppressed in an effort to help an individual obtain a favorable outcome in a case.
A Formal Motion Will Be Made to Suppress Evidence
The first step in the process of having evidence suppressed is to file a formal motion asking for this to occur. The motion will outline the evidence that you or your legal counsel wishes to be excluded from a legal proceeding. Furthermore, it will generally list the reason why the request has been made. Typically, there is an issue with how a police office or detective obtained an item or a statement.
What Are the Grounds to Seek Suppression of Evidence?
There are many reasons why evidence in your case could be suppressed. For instance, if an officer violated your Fourth Amendment right to unreasonable search or seizure, evidence collected related to that search could be thrown out. If an officer did not read you your rights prior to taking you into custody, anything that you say may be excluded from a trial or another proceeding.
Are There Exceptions to Fourth Amendment Protections?
There may be exceptions to protections granted by the Fourth Amendment depending on the facts in your case. For instance, there is generally no basis to exclude evidence in the event that it could violate someone else’s privacy in the process. That person or entity would likely need to file their own motion with the court or otherwise seek recourse for any issues it could cause. Exceptions may also be made for evidence that would likely have been discovered anyway or evidence that was discovered through largely legal means. Furthermore, if an officer was acting in a good-faith manner when evidence was found, that may be enough to overcome any objections to its introduction at trial. Your criminal defense attorney may be able to provide more insight into why evidence may be allowed or disallowed in your matter.
What Happens if Evidence Is Excluded?
In the event that a motion to suppress evidence is successful, it is like the prosecution didn’t find or otherwise have it at all. Depending on the strength of the remaining case against you, the matter could still proceed to trial. It is also possible that you will have more leverage for a plea deal in the matter. If there is no other compelling evidence to proceed with a criminal charge, a prosecutor may decide to simply drop the matter. If the matter is dropped, you are a free person and will not be subject to further scrutiny unless new evidence or new charges are filed.
What Happens if Evidence Is Not Excluded?
In the event that a motion to suppress is not granted, there are other ways in which an attorney may be able to dispute its validity or veracity. For example, it could be possible to claim that a witness is not qualified or competent to offer testimony. Other strategies may include attacking the accuracy of a blood test or other chemical tests used to charge you with a crime. The goal of attempting to discredit evidence in court is to put doubt in the mind of a juror. If your attorney can do this, it may allow for an acquittal in your case. If you need help with a criminal matter, you can contact Kusturiss Law in Media, Pennsylvania, by calling (610) 565-0240. You can also use the contact form on the website or visit our law office during normal business hours. Weekend appointments may also be available.