What is a Motion to Suppress Evidence?

Suppress Evidence

One of the most used criminal defense strategies is to try to get evidence against a client removed from consideration. This is commonly referred to as making a motion to suppress evidence. If the motion is successful, the evidence cannot be used against a defendant.

Sometimes, this leads to the case being permanently dropped, especially if all pieces of evidence are thrown out. When a dismissal of evidence leads to the end of a case, the motion may be referred to as a dispositive motion to suppress. On the other hand, if the case is going to continue even after some of the evidence has been dropped, it is referred to as a non-dispositive motion.

In either case, having at least some evidence taken out of a case can strengthen a defendant’s position. For that reason, many criminal defense lawyers opt to use a motion to suppress evidence.

Why Would Evidence Need to be Suppressed?

Evidence that has been collected against a defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights may end up being dismissed. The Fourth Amendment outlines both unreasonable and appropriate search and seizure methods and expectations. In other words, if evidence has been collected in a way that does not follow the Fourth Amendment search and seizure rules, the evidence may be deemed inadmissible.

It is not an exaggeration to say that many types of evidence can be collected in a way that does not comply with the Fourth Amendment. For instance, if a police officer stops someone for no particular reason and finds an illegal drug on the individual, the evidence may be thrown out. In that case, the police officer had no right to stop the person in the first place. As a result, the evidence might not be used even if it clearly showed criminal activity.

Can Improperly Collected Statements be Dismissed?

A motion to dismiss can also be a way to throw out statements that were made in violation of the Fifth Amendment. Every individual has Miranda rights. If the Miranda warnings are not administered correctly or at all, any statements the defendants made may be dismissed by the court.

Many criminal defense lawyers recommend that defendants say nothing until they have spoken to a legal representative, even if they believe they have been properly read their Miranda rights. Defendants cannot be coerced into making statements that can be used against them. If they are coerced, those statements may end up being dismissed at a later time.

Do Motions to Suppress Evidence Always Work?

There are no guarantees when it comes to whether or not a court will agree to a motion to suppress evidence. A lawyer can advise their client on whether or not they recommend this strategy. Frequently, motions to suppress evidence are preferable alternatives to trying to defend against evidence that may have been unreasonably collected.

Anyone who has been charged with a crime should consider consulting with a lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced in criminal law. A lawyer will listen to their client’s situation and give professional feedback based on the available facts. The lawyer may suggest making a motion to suppress evidence if it is necessary.

South Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers at Agre & St. John Appropriately Apply Motions to Suppress Evidence

If you have been charged with a crime and think that the evidence should be dismissed, discuss your case with a South Jersey criminal defense lawyer at Agre & St. John. Contact us online or call us at 856-428-7797 to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County.

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