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Matthew Radefeld & Dan Juengel
Matthew A. Radefeld and Daniel A. Juengel

What is a motion to suppress in criminal proceedings?

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2024 | Criminal Law |

During pretrial hearings, the defense may make a formal request to the court to exclude specific evidence from being presented in court. This evidence could encompass anything from seized items to confession statements. If a judge grants the motion, the evidence will not play a part in your case.

A motion to suppress can be informed by a violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights or mistakes by law enforcement. For instance, if the police obtain evidence through an unlawful search or coerced a confession without informing you of your Miranda rights, the court may suppress such evidence.

Similarly, if the police made mistakes when handling the evidence, leading to doubts about its integrity or reliability, a motion to suppress could lead to the exclusion of such evidence. The court will not admit potentially tampered with or contaminated evidence as it does not serve the best interests of justice.

How a motion to suppress works

The legal process for a motion to suppress involves a hearing where the defense and prosecution present arguments and evidence supporting their respective positions. The judge then deliberates and decides whether the evidence should be excluded based on the merits of the case and the adherence to constitutional principles.

A successful motion to suppress can significantly impact the outcome of a trial. For instance, if the court excludes crucial evidence, it might weaken the prosecution’s case or even lead to its dismissal. A weak case also gives the defense more leverage when negotiating plea deals.

The unique aspects of your case matter

The court’s decision regarding a motion to suppress depends on the legal intricacies involved and the interpretation of constitutional protections within the legal system. It is not always a straightforward process.

Seeking an informed analysis of the specifics of your case can help identify the potential grounds for a motion to suppress and craft compelling arguments to protect your rights in criminal proceedings.