The prosecution may have compelling evidence against you, and you may think all is lost, even before your trial begins. However, you should not resign to fate just yet. You may still have a chance of getting a desirable verdict for the drug charges you face if the evidence does not make it to trial.
A motion to suppress can help exclude certain evidence from being used against you during the trial. When this happens, it can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case and increase the odds in your favor.
What is a motion to suppress?
A motion to suppress is usually filed during pre-trial hearings by the defendant, requesting the judge to exclude specific evidence from the case. If the judge grants the motion to suppress and excludes the evidence from the trial, the prosecution will not use it to prove your guilt.
What are the grounds for suppressing evidence?
In most cases, evidence obtained in violation of your constitutional rights may not make it to trial. For instance, the Fourth Amendment protects you from arbitrary searches by the police. As such, evidence acquired following an illegal search and seizure may be excluded from your trial.
Similarly, evidence can be excluded due to mistakes in the chain of custody. The police must follow proper procedures when handling evidence, from the moment it is acquired to its presentation in court. If the evidence was tampered with, destroyed or misplaced when in possession of the police, there may be doubts about its authenticity. The court can exclude the affected evidence from the trial on such grounds.
An informed review of the admissibility of evidence is crucial
Not all motions to suppress are successful. Assessing the admissibility of the prosecution’s evidence requires an intricate knowledge of the law and rules of evidence. This explains the necessity of having adequate legal representation in your defense when facing serious criminal charges where there is a lot at stake.