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What is a Motion to Suppress Evidence in a Criminal Case?

Posted on in Criminal Law

Arlington Heights Criminal Defense LawyerCriminal defense attorneys have a variety of tools at their disposal when defending a client charged with a criminal offense. For the prosecution to obtain a guilty verdict and convict a defendant of a crime, the prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Usually, the prosecution uses a combination of evidence and testimony to argue that the defendant is guilty. However, the evidence must meet certain criteria to be used in a criminal case.

If you or a loved one were charged with a crime, it is important to understand how a motion to suppress evidence may be used to defend against the charges.   

Evidence and Statements Acquired Through Illegal Means

Fortunately, Americans have rights protected by the Constitution and other legislation. If the evidence in a criminal case is obtained in violation of these rights, it may be suppressed. This means that the evidence is inadmissible in court and may not be used during the trial.

A motion to suppress evidence is a motion or legal request a defense attorney may make to the court if evidence was obtained unconstitutionally or illegally. Motions to suppress evidence are usually founded upon:

  • Fourth Amendment violations – The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures of personal property. Police cannot search a person’s home, vehicle, or other property unless the proper procedure is followed. Police usually need probable cause or a search warrant to conduct a search.

  • Sixth Amendment violations – The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives criminal defendants the right to consult with an attorney. Violation of this right may lead to a defendant’s statements being suppressed during a criminal case.

  • Fifth Amendment violations – Criminal defendants have the right to avoid self-incrimination. They cannot be forced to testify against themselves or provide information that will incriminate them. Police cannot interrogate someone without first informing them of their right to remain silent and their right to counsel.

It is important to note that police are only required to inform a criminal defendant of his or her rights, not ensure that the defendant asserts those rights. Suppose a defendant is given the option to remain silent during police questioning or ask for a lawyer, and he or she answers questions without a lawyer anyway. In that case, the prosecution has every right to use his or her statements against him or her during the trial. This is why it is so important to remain silent and ask for your lawyer if you are ever arrested and questioned by police.

Contact an Arlington Heights Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one were charged with a criminal offense, contact Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law right away. Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Scott Anderson can provide the tenacious legal defense you need. Call 847-253-3400 for a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/our-government/the-constitution/

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