When you are charged with a criminal offense, before your trial commences, a pretrial hearing will be conducted where evidence is introduced. During a pretrial hearing, a defense attorney can use various tactics including filing a motion to suppress evidence to have a judge throw out evidence that the prosecution plans on using against you during a trial. If a judge grants an attorney’s motion, certain evidence will be excluded from being presented and heard at the trial which can significantly benefit your case. Please follow along to learn more about how filing a motion to suppress evidence can help your criminal case. In addition, don’t hesitate to reach out to an adept Rockland County Criminal Defense Attorney who can defend your rights and interests.
What is a motion to suppress evidence?
A motion to suppress evidence is a motion filed by a defense attorney when they have reason to believe that the prosecution’s evidence was illegally recovered through an unlawful search or seizure. Under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, all persons are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. If evidence was illegally obtained it is inadmissible and cannot be presented during a trial. In some cases, this type of motion can make or break the prosecution’s case against you. It is a powerful tool that can get certain evidence thrown out which can lead to reduced or dismissed charges as the prosecution may not have enough evidence to convict you.
What evidence may be excluded?
When a criminal defense attorney files this type of motion, there are only certain grounds that a judge will accept to exclude certain evidence from being presented and heard during a trial. The following are some of the different types of evidence that may be excluded:
- Involuntary confessions
- Financial records
- Eyewitness testimony
- Chemical testing results (blood alcohol levels, blood tests for controlled substances)
- Photographs and video footage
- Audio recordings
- Drugs and weapons
It is imperative to note that alongside the above-listed types of evidence, hearsay evidence, a statement overheard outside of court by the defendant, can be used at a suppression hearing. Nevertheless, if any of the above-listed evidence was illegally obtained through an unlawful search and seizure, the judge will grant the defendant’s motion to suppress illegally obtained evidence from being presented and heard during a trial. Ultimately, this motion can help your case because the prosecution may be prohibited from using the critical evidence they need to prosecute you. Motions to suppress evidence can result in reduced or dismissed charges as the State’s case is significantly weakened by not being able to use certain evidence against you.
For more information on how a motion to suppress evidence can help your criminal case, please speak with a knowledgeable Rockland County criminal defense attorney. Our firm is committed to helping our clients prevent harsh penalties.