What is the fruit of the poisonous tree? 

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

You may have heard of the fruit of the poisonous tree. This is a doctrine that is sometimes applied to legal cases, influencing the way that evidence is analyzed in criminal court.

If you’re facing charges, especially if they’re very serious charges for something like drug trafficking or even homicide, it’s important to understand how this doctrine works and why it may apply to your case.

Inadmissible evidence

Generally speaking, this doctrine just means that evidence is inadmissible in court if it has been obtained illegally. Evidence that stems from this illegal activity is also inadmissible.

One way to think about this is if the police violate your rights by performing an illegal search of your home. They don’t have your consent, they don’t have probable cause and they don’t have a warrant. But they come in anyway, and they do find evidence that they believe ties you to a serious crime.

You can argue that, regardless of what that evidence was, they never should have legally been able to obtain it. You have 4th Amendment rights that make it so you cannot be subjected to an illegal search and seizure. If the entire arrest was based around the evidence that they found at that time, getting it thrown out of court may mean that the police no longer have much of a case against you.

Exploring your options

This obviously isn’t going to apply in all cases, but it’s a good example of why you need to look into all of your options. No matter what type of charges you’re facing or what evidence may be against you, you need to know what defense options you have. 


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