Evidence suppression is the act of excluding evidence from being presented in court due to its inadmissibility. This can significantly impact your criminal case since it can determine whether the prosecution has sufficient evidence to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Several instances can lead to the suppression of evidence. For example, if the police searched your property without a warrant or legal justification, the evidence obtained from the unlawful search may be inadmissible in court.
Unlawfully obtained evidence of police mistakes when handling evidence in their custody (chain of custody errors) can lead to exclusion from trial. Here is how the process to suppress evidence works and the likely outcomes.
Filing a motion to suppress
Evidence suppression is not automatic. It all begins with a motion to suppress filed by the defendant or their legal team during pre-trial hearings. Once the motion is filed, the judge will review it and rule on whether the evidence is admissible.
How evidence suppression could affect your case
If the judge grants the motion, the affected evidence will not come up during the trial. The potential consequences depend on the weight of the evidence in question. Suppressing insignificant evidence may not necessarily impact your case.
However, if crucial evidence is excluded, the prosecution may be hesitant to proceed with a weak case. You could end up with reduced charges or even have the case against you dismissed.
Seek appropriate counsel
Filing a successful motion to suppress evidence requires an in-depth understanding of your legal rights, the rules of evidence and how the criminal justice system works. Everything may not be straightforward, considering the legal nuances involved.
It explains the necessity of having adequate legal representation to protect your interests and increase the chances of a favorable verdict.