What Is a Motion to Suppress Evidence and How Can It Help Me?

Gavel after motion to suppress evidence is approved

Whether you are pulled over by a police officer or law enforcement shows up at your door, hearing that criminal charges may be brought against you can be overwhelming and terrifying. This is even scarier when the police rip your home or car apart to find evidence to support your case. However, if they did not take the proper steps, the proof they found may be inadmissible through a process known as filing a motion to suppress evidence. If you’re unfamiliar with this, you’ll want to keep reading to learn more and discover how a Nassau County criminal defense attorney can assist you.

How Does a Motion to Suppress Work?

In the United States, citizens are guaranteed certain protections under the law. One of the most vital statutes is the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which protects against unlawful search and seizure. This means the police do not have the freedom to simply walk into someone’s home and look for evidence. They must follow the proper steps, such as obtaining a search warrant, having probable cause, or receiving consent.

Without these elements, the police are not allowed to search your property. The only exception to this is for items that are in plain view. For example, if the police pull you over and there is drug paraphernalia on your passenger seat, this would not violate the expectation of privacy citizens have.

If the police have unlawfully obtained evidence the prosecution plans to use against you, your attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence. In New York, this is known as a Mapp motion. This makes it so the prosecutor cannot present proof obtained illegally in court. However, your lawyer must file this during the pre-trial motions.

However, a Mapp motion only suppresses physical evidence such as drug paraphernalia or weapons. Depending on the evidence against you, your attorney may also have to file a Huntley motion which prevents the protection from referencing a statement you made, or a Wade motion, which can exclude an eyewitness testimony identifying you as the perpetrator.

How Can This Benefit Me?

It’s essential to understand that the suppression of illegally obtained evidence can drastically impact the outcome of your criminal trial. Without key evidence, the prosecution’s case may fall apart. This can often lead to the dismissal of a charge, as it is unlikely that the prosecution will secure a conviction.

When facing criminal charges, understanding your legal options is vital to protecting your best interest. It is essential that you contact an attorney at the first sign of legal trouble, so they can advise you on how to proceed. Without their expertise, you may not be able to have evidence suppressed!

At the Law Office of Jacob A. Rudman, our legal team is dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible outcome for your unique circumstances. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you navigate this challenging time.

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