When can evidence be suppressed in your criminal case?

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2022 | Drug Crimes |

Sometimes, a judge may rule that certain evidence will not be admitted to trial in response to a petition to suppress evidence. Such a judgment may have far-reaching implications on your case since it may not be possible for the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt without crucial evidence.

There are various instances when the court can suppress evidence, some of which are listed below.

Evidence acquired in violation of your constitutional rights

Suppose the police did not have sufficient legal grounds to search or arrest you. In such a case, the court may suppress evidence acquired in the unlawful search or detention since it is a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights.

Equally, the police are supposed to inform you of your rights before interrogation when you are under lawful custody. Otherwise, your statements may not be used against you in a court of law in line with your constitutional rights.

Evidence affected by chain of custody errors

The police must exercise care and competence when handling evidence, from its seizure to presentation in court. If they make mistakes that compromise the integrity of the evidence, the court will likely suppress it. For instance, the evidence may have been improperly stored, lost due to a mix-up or even wrongly documented at the crime scene.

Certain legal exceptions exist

Suppressing evidence is a question of law. Therefore, in the interests of justice, there are instances where the court may not suppress evidence even if the police did not follow protocol or acted outside their mandate.

If you are facing criminal charges, there could be a chance that some of the prosecution’s evidence may not be admissible in court. It might not be so apparent, given the legal nuances involved. As such, it is prudent to seek the appropriate assistance and an informed evaluation of your charges to determine the best way forward.