What Are the Grounds for Suppressing Evidence in a New York or Federal Criminal Case?

Suppression of evidence is one of the most important tools a criminal defense lawyer has to help you with your state or federal case. 

To suppress evidence, your lawyer must file a Motion to Suppress and make a valid legal argument for why a particular piece of evidence is invalid. The judge then decides whether the motion can be granted on the strength of this argument, or whether a hearing is required. 

What does it mean when evidence is suppressed?

When evidence is suppressed, it can’t be used at trial. Juries never get to see or hear the evidence. 

What type of evidence may be suppressed?

Any type of evidence that can be used in a criminal case may be suppressed. This includes physical evidence, photo or video evidence, documents, and expert testimony. 

In some cases, suppressing the right evidence can essentially end the case. For example, if we can suppress the drug evidence gathered at a crime scene then a drug case may completely fall apart. 

When can evidence be suppressed?

Evidence can be suppressed when the method used to gather the evidence violates either your Fourth Amendment or Fifth Amendment rights. It may also be suppressed when the chain of custody is broken and evidence is not properly handled or secured at some point during the criminal investigation. Finally, evidence that is unreliable, irrelevant, or unreasonably prejudicial to the defendant may be suppressed as well. 

In a Fourth Amendment violation, the police gather evidence without a warrant that should have required a warrant, or violate the boundaries of that warrant to obtain the evidence. While there are exceptions that allow law enforcement to conduct a warrantless search, there are often ways to argue that those exceptions do not apply.

In a Fifth Amendment violation the police have somehow violated your right to avoid self-incrimination. This may mean they’ve obtained a dubious confession. This also covers cases in which police failed to offer a Miranda warning. 

Get Help Today

Suppressing evidence is just one of the many actions a competent criminal defense attorney takes on your behalf. If you or a loved one are facing state or federal charges, don’t wait. 

Contact Koch Law to schedule a case review. The faster we can move to investigate and work on your case, the better your case outcome is likely to be.

See also:

Can You Hire a Federal Criminal Attorney Before Charges Are Filed?

What to Do If Your Home or Office Gets Raided by Federal Agents

How to Resolve a Federal Criminal Case Before Charges Are Filed