How Do You File a Motion to Suppress Evidence and What Happens Next?
A motion to suppress evidence is filed in a criminal case to ask the judge to prohibit the prosecutor from using certain evidence in the case. If the evidence is key to proving your guilt and your motion is granted, the charges against you could be dismissed. In other cases, the case against you could be at least weakened, and a reasonable doubt as to your guilt may be established. Here, we discuss how to file a motion to suppress and what happens in your case once you file one.
Filing a Motion to Suppress Evidence in Your Criminal Case
If you want to have a chance of winning your motion to suppress evidence, you should hire an experienced criminal defense to file the motion for you. Here is how the process of filing of filing a motion to suppress evidence works:
- File motion. Your attorney would prepare a written motion to suppress evidence that he would file with the court and provide a copy to the prosecutor. However, there must be grounds-something done wrong in obtaining the evidence you are trying to suppress-in order to file a motion to suppress evidence. Some of the common grounds include unlawful search and seizure of evidence, failure to properly give you your Miranda warnings, or improper witness identification procedures.
- Prosecutor's response. The prosecutor will have a certain time period to file a written response to your motion. It must also be filed with the court, and a copy must be sent to your attorney.
- Hearing. The court will most likely schedule a hearing on your motion where your attorney and the prosecutor can present oral arguments on their positions.
- Time period to file motions. Depending on the judge who is assigned to your case, he may set a specific deadline for filing pre-trial motions-including motions to suppress evidence. If your attorney plans to file a motion to suppress for you, he must do so before the deadline expires.
- Decision. After reading the legal documents filed and hearing the attorneys' arguments, the judge assigned to your case will issue a written decision on your motion either granting it or denying it.
Motions to suppress evidence often involve violations of complicated constitutional protections that you have. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney who can identify the grounds for a motion to suppress evidence and can aggressively file and argue a pre-trial motion to get the evidence suppressed. Start an online chat today to schedule your free consultation to learn how we can help you.