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Suppressing Improperly Obtained Evidence Could Help Get Your Charges Dismissed

Jeff Cole
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole

Sometimes, police officers do not always follow the rules for obtaining evidence when charging someone with a crime. If this happened in your case, your lawyer may file a motion to suppress evidence that was illegally obtained. This type of motion must be filed before trial, and the judge will decide whether the evidence is admissible. If the evidence is key to proving your guilt and any additional evidence is insufficient in proving you committed a crime, a successful motion to suppress could result in the charges against you being dismissed or reduced.

3 Reasons to File a Motion to Suppress Evidence

Evidence in a criminal case must be relevant to the criminal charges and collected and handled according to the law. Here are three reasons evidence is often thrown out of a court case:

  • Unlawful search and seizure. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects against unlawful search and seizure. In most cases, the police must have a valid search warrant, a valid arrest warrant, or probable cause that a crime was committed to search for and gather evidence.
  • Miranda warning. The Fifth Amendment protects against self-incrimination. Before questioning a suspect, the police must first read that person the Miranda warning. This warning states that the suspect has the right to remain silent; talk to an attorney before being questioned; have the attorney present during questioning; and have a court-appointed attorney if the suspect cannot afford to hire one. In addition, the suspect must be informed that anything he says can be used against him. After the police give the Miranda warning, they should not question the suspect.
  • Chain of custody errors. Evidence must be handled properly from the time it is obtained by the police until its presentation at trial. If the chain of custody is broken, the evidence may not be admissible. For example, if the police took a blood sample of someone suspected of a DUI and then mislabeled it or mixed it up with other blood samples, the blood test may be inadmissible.

If you were charged with a crime, you need a criminal defense attorney who understands the grounds for suppressing evidence. This could be crucial in getting your charges dismissed or reduced. Call us today at 888-733-2992 to learn how we can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your criminal matter.


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