Evidence is crucial in any case, and in most cases, it determines the final verdict. If you are facing criminal charges, a verdict isn’t based on what the prosecution thinks they know – it’s based on what the evidence shows.
However, not all evidence can be used against you in a court of law. If you think the evidence against you is inadmissible in court, you may file a motion to have it suppressed. This means that it will be excluded from your case and not form any part of your trial.
When can evidence be suppressed?
Evidence is usually suppressed at the court’s discretion, and as long as the reasons are valid and backed by the law, it will be exempted from your case. Some reasons to suppress evidence include:
- Evidence obtained illegally through an unlawful search and seizure
- Self-incriminating statements made without the issuance of Miranda warnings
- Evidence that is irrelevant to the case
- Evidence obtained through force or coercion
- Evidence that is unreliable probably due to contamination from the chain of custody errors
What does it mean for your case?
If a critical piece of evidence is suppressed, the prosecution’s case may not hold up. Thus, the charges against you are likely to be reduced or dismissed in their entirety. However, everything is not as straightforward as it sounds. Things may get legally technical when it comes to suppressing evidence. For instance, certain exceptions exist where evidence may still be admissible even if the police did not follow the right procedure when obtaining it.
Understanding your rights – and the rules of evidence in a criminal case – isn’t easy. Make sure you have a strong defense strategy from the beginning.