Can I File a Motion to Suppress Evidence?
Posted April 7th, 2023.
When you are accused of a crime in the United States, it is vital to understand you have rights. One of the most important is how the police collect evidence against those accused of criminal activity. In some instances, if they do not take the proper steps, the evidence collected by law enforcement may not hold up in court through a motion to suppress evidence. Understanding your rights is essential, as it can greatly impact the outcome of your case. Keep reading to learn more about this process and discover how a New Jersey criminal defense attorney can help you through this process.
What Is a Motion to Suppress Evidence?
Unfortunately, many people do not know their Constitutional rights. This leads to many making uninformed choices that can be held against them later. One of the most uninformed decisions involves when a police officer wants to search your property.
Under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, the police cannot search your home or seize your property without consent, a warrant, or probable cause. If none of these elements are present, the evidence taken may be deemed inadmissible through a process known as filing a motion to suppress evidence.
This is a pre-trial motion your attorney can file to help get the evidence suppressed because it was collected unlawfully. If this motion is approved, the evidence taken against you will not be presented by the defense in court.
How Can It Benefit My Criminal Case?
Filing a motion to suppress evidence can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. In many cases, the evidence the defense has against you is paramount to the trial. Without it, they may be unable to secure a conviction. As a result, they may drop the charges against you since they know a jury would likely not find you guilty.
For example, if you are pulled over without cause and the police find drugs in your vehicle without a warrant or your consent, your attorney may be able to have this suppressed because your Fourth Amendment rights were violated by law enforcement officers.
It is imperative that you do not give consent for your property to be searched. However, if the police have a warrant or probable cause, such as the smell of drugs, or they can see that illegal activity is occurring, they are legally allowed to search regardless.
When you are interacting with police, it’s vital to stay calm and respectful. However, when your rights are violated, contacting an attorney immediately is essential to protecting yourself. If you believe your rights were violated by the police unlawfully searching and seizing your property, the Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick can help you navigate this complex issue. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.