Liebling Malamut

Blog

Why a Court May Decide to Suppress Evidence

A seasoned criminal defense attorney will know how to get key pieces of evidence that are in dispute removed at trial. When the evidence presented by the prosecutor raises a flag, the issue isn’t whether the defendant is innocent. Instead, the importance is the admissibility.

Liebling Malamut - Suppress EvidenceThe first step is to file a motion to suppress evidence. A judge will look at the evidence and make a ruling whether it should be thrown out. For evidence to make it to court, it must be both relevant and competent, along with lawfully obtained.

Common Reasons Evidence is Suppressed

  • Failure to Read Miranda Rights. It is the law in every state that an officer must read “Miranda rights” before interrogating or questioning a suspect. This is done to inform suspects of their rights such as the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present. If a suspect was not informed of their rights, the information gathered from the questioning may be inadmissible.
  • Improper Care of Evidence. Referred to as the chain of custody, the documentation and proper care of evidence is important when it comes to admissibility at trial. If evidence wasn’t carefully handled between its seizure and its presentation, it is at risk of being tampered with. An example is a blood sample from a defendant accused of drunken driving being mislabeled.
  • Unlawful Search and Seizure. Citizens have certain rights when they are pulled over in a traffic stop or when police visit their home. Other than specific exceptions, police must have a valid search warrant, valid arrest warrant, or probable cause to believe a crime has been committed to search a vehicle or home. This means if the scent of marijuana smoke wafts out of the car window in a traffic stop in New Jersey and the person does not have a valid medical marijuana card, the officer can search the vehicle. However, they cannot decide to search the vehicle simply because the person looks like someone who consumes marijuana, as this is not probable cause.

If you are facing criminal charges and feel the evidence against you should be thrown out, the attorneys at Liebling Malamut can help. Our team has years of successful experience fighting criminal charges when evidence was unlawfully gathered or when evidence has not been properly cared for. We offer free initial consultations at our Cherry Hill, New Jersey, offices to better serve the South Jersey area.