Imagine a criminal trial where you are facing drug possession charges, yet the drugs are not part of the prosecution’s evidence. Chances are that the case will go your way since it may be hard to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The legal term for that is “evidence suppression.” Such a situation can arise when evidence is excluded from the trial, which is something that could significantly impact the outcome of your case.
Reasons a court can suppress evidence
One of the common reasons evidence can be excluded from a trial is if it was obtained in violation of your constitutional rights. An illegal search and seizure is one such instance. If the police conducted an unlawful search and found the drugs, such evidence can be set aside and will not be part of your trial.
Another reason is if there were chain of custody errors. In other words, if the police made mistakes when handling your evidence, it may not be admissible in court. This can happen if evidence has been tampered with or when it’s unclear who had access or custody of the drugs while in possession of law enforcement.
How evidence suppression happens
Suppressing evidence begins with a motion to suppress filed before the trial starts. The motion is a legal argument challenging the admissibility of the evidence. The judge will rule on the matter and decide whether to grant the motion. If granted, the evidence will be left out, and the jury will not know about it should your case go to trial.
Given the technicalities involved and the fact that evidence suppression can sway the odds in your favor, it is best to have experienced legal representation to help present a strong case.