Motion To Suppress Evidence: What It Is and the Grounds for Filing Such a Motion
One way of fighting criminal charges is by attacking the prosecutor’s evidence, and one way to attack the prosecutor’s evidence is by filing a motion to suppress. This article discusses what a motion to suppress evidence is and common legal grounds for filing this motion.
A Motion To Suppress Evidence: What Is It?
A motion to suppress is a motion filed with the court asking to suppress, or exclude, specific evidence the prosecutor intends to use against you at trial. Motions to suppress evidence are usually filed before a criminal trial. If you file a motion to suppress evidence and the court grants your motion, the prosecutor cannot use the excluded evidence against you if the case goes to trial. Depending on the importance of the excluded evidence, the prosecutor may decide to dismiss the case. Alternatively, your defense attorney can try to use the excluded evidence as leverage to negotiate a better plea agreement.
Common Legal Grounds for Filing a Motion To Suppress
An experienced criminal defense attorney can assess the circumstances of your criminal case and identify if you have any legal grounds for filing a motion to suppress evidence. If you do, your attorney can help you file this motion.
The following are some of the common legal grounds for filing a motion to suppress evidence;
Unlawful Search and Seizure
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and Article One, Section Eleven of the Indiana Constitution protects you from illegal searches and seizures. A judge may grant a motion to suppress evidence if the evidence was obtained through an unlawful search or seizure. Generally, for a search and seizure to be considered legal, law enforcement must have a search warrant that established probable cause, was properly signed by a judge, and served as required by law, or an exception to the search warrant requirement must apply.
Failure To Give Miranda Warnings
If a person is in police custody, and the police wish to interrogate that person, the police are required to read them the Miranda Warning. Statements a suspect makes during a custodial interrogation, without the required Miranda Warning, are inadmissible at trial.
The following are other common grounds for filing a motion to suppress evidence;
- The written search warrant did not establish probable cause for the search or seizure
- The search or seizure occurred without a warrant and no exception to the warrant requirement applied
Contact an Indianapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer
The skilled and dedicated Indianapolis criminal defense lawyers at Rigney Law LLC can thoroughly analyze the facts and law relevant to your case and determine if you have legal grounds to filing a motion to suppress. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.