After being charged with a crime, a trial will take place. A judge and jury will decide whether you are guilty and what your punishment will be. However, before a trial commences, a pretrial hearing will be conducted where the prosecution and defense attorney can present evidence. During the pretrial stage, a defense attorney can use various tactics such as filing a motion to suppress evidence to help your case and weaken the prosecution’s case against you. Continue reading to learn how filing a motion to suppress evidence can help your criminal case and how a proficient Memphis Criminal Defense Attorney can help defend your rights.
What is a motion to suppress evidence?
In a criminal case, during a pretrial hearing, an attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence. Essentially, this type of motion asks the judge to prohibit certain evidence from being presented and heard during the trial. A judge usually will only grant a motion to suppress evidence if there is valid reasoning to believe that the evidence was illegally obtained through an unlawful search and seizure. Under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, all persons have the right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. If a police officer did not have probable cause for searching an individual, the evidence recovered is inadmissible in court. For example, if the police stop you at random while you are walking and they have no reason to suspect a crime (probable cause), any evidence they gather from the search and seizure will be thrown out as it cannot be used against you in a court of law because it was unlawfully obtained. Furthermore, the following evidence may be subject to exclusion in a criminal case:
- Chemical test results
- Financial records
- Photographs and video footage
- Audio recordings
- Eyewitness testimony
If a judge grants this type of motion, it can dramatically help your case. If the prosecution relied on certain evidence to prosecute you and they can no longer use it against you at trial, it can weaken their case against you. This could even lead to dismissed charges. Certain evidence could make or break the prosecution’s case against you. Depending on the severity of your criminal offense, you will likely be subjected to an array of harsh penalties. If evidence was recovered illegally, filing a motion to suppress evidence can help you reach reduced or dismissed charges that prevent you from facing harsh penalties.
For more information on how filing a motion to suppress evidence can help your criminal case, contact a skilled Memphis criminal defense attorney. Our firm is committed to helping our clients through complex criminal proceedings. Allow us to represent your interests in court today to seek favorable results.