Motion to Suppress Evidence in Connecticut
So you might be wondering what motion to suppress means- This is when the prosecution cannot use such evidence against you and the jury will not have a chance to review it. Depending on this evidence, like if it is a key piece of evidence, then this could mean the entire case could be dismissed.
When it comes to making an arrest and conducting a criminal investigation law enforcement must follow certain rules when making an arrest and conducting a criminal investigation in order to provide fairness and transparency. This is to ensure that they collecting any evidence legally as well as protecting the suspect’s rights.
Unfortunately police offices are capable of making mistakes and can unintentionally—and sometimes intentionally—break these rules. When an error does occur, then the evidence that was gathered while breaking such rules cannot be presented in court.
If the police committed an error in your case, your criminal defense attorney can file a motion to suppress with the judge. If the judge grants the motion, then that evidence will be inadmissible in court.
Common Reasons The Court May Suppress Evidence:
WARRANTLESS SEARCH & SEIZURE OF EVIDENCE
The fourth amendment in the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unlawful search and seizure, whether the search occurs in your home, your car, or your person. So if evidence is obtained during a warrantless search & seizure then is a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.
In order for law enforcement to search your home, car, or you person then they must have a valid arrest warrant, a valid search warrant, or probable cause that a criminal offense has occurred in order to conduct a search and collect evidence.
MOTION TO SUPPRESS STATEMENT OF DEFENDANT
The fifth amendment in the U.S. Constitution gives citizens the right not to incriminate themselves. Police officers must read you your “Miranda rights,” stating that you have the right not to speak with law enforcement and may request a lawyer.
When an officer questions you while in custody without first giving the Miranda warning, then anything you say cannot be used against you in court and will be deemed inadmissible.
BROKEN CHAIN OF CUSTODY
The process of documenting and taking care of the evidence is known as the “chain of custody”. This process starts from the time the evidence has been collected from the crime scene to it being presented in court, If there is an error that occurs during the chain of custody, then that evidence will lose its credibility and could potentially be thrown out of court.
For example, you were arrested for a DUI and your blood was drawn to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) level after the arrest. Well then the police happen to mix up or mislabel the blood evidence with some other samples. Because this chain of custody was improper, then the evidence could be inadmissible.
Defense for Motion to Suppress
Having an experienced attorney, like our team at Keith Anthony, review the police work for possible errors is a crucial step toward getting your case dismissed. We are able to examine each state of the criminal investigation, from the initial police report and arrest to the evidence they turned over to the prosecution. If we find any flaws, then we will quickly file a motion to suppress and protect your rights throughout the legal process.