Motions to “Suppress” Evidence – What are they and how to they work?
Judges cannot allow juries to hear evidence that was obtained illegally or in violation of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. A defense lawyer can file a “Motion to Suppress” evidence that he or she believes fits these categories. A Motion to Suppress Evidence can be a very powerful tool for someone accused of a crime. A couple of our clients have had great results in a couple of recent cases thanks to effective suppression motions.
Once a Motion to Suppress is granted, the prosecution is not allowed to use the suppressed evidence at trial. More often than not, this results in reduction or even dismissal of charges against the accused.
In one recent case, my client (a young female) was stopped by a State Trooper and held in his vehicle for 23 minutes while he interrogated her and finally searched her vehicle. I filed a motion to suppress the evidence found during that search as obtained in violation of a recent US Supreme Court decision. After a contentious 90 minute hearing, the trial judge correctly concluded that the Trooper had held my client too long before issuing her the warning and searching the vehicle. The judge ordered the evidence suppressed and the felony charges were later Nolle Prossed (dismissed) on motion of the prosecutor. She is now free and clear of any charges.
In another case, a client was parked with some friends in an open field when several vehicles full of Montgomery Police Department officers (dressed in full riot gear) swarmed them, held them at gunpoint, and searched their vehicles. Neither the prosecutor nor the police could give any reason for this action, only that they were in a “high crime area.” I filed a Motion to Suppress the evidence against my client, and after a negotiation, the State agreed to amend my client’s charges from a felony to a misdemeanor, saving my client from a nearly assured prison sentence and instead ending up with a sentence of probation.
For a person accused of a criminal offense, a suppression motion can be an extremely effective tool, and can often be a game changer, as it was for these two recent clients. Anyone in this position should consult with an experienced, knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer to explore any and all issues related to their case. At Skier & Associates we take pride in the successes we have had above and look forward to many more in the future. Call us for a consultation to see if a similar outcome can be obtained in your case.