Can evidence be excluded in a criminal case?
On behalf of J. Kippa Law, LLC | December 18, 2015
Many criminal matters turn on evidence. The admissibility of evidence can be crucial in a defendant’s case. For example, if evidence is excluded in a court of law, there might not be enough circumstantial support to suggest guilt and put the defendant behind bars.
If you are facing charges, it is time to retain legal assistance. An experienced criminal lawyer can help you deal with evidentiary issues when authorities mishandle or improperly obtain evidence.
How to throw out evidence
First, you should work with your attorney to initiate a motion to suppress evidence. This is required for all evidentiary hearings.
Ultimately, a court will not look at evidence in a criminal matter unless it is competent and relevant. The evidence in question should be related to the charges at hand and gathered under appropriate legal standards. If this is not true, a judge will throw it out.
The “exclusionary rule” precludes the prosecution from presenting most evidence that was gathered illegally. This rule is relevant when evidence is gathered in violation of a defendant’s right against unlawful searches and seizures. Therefore, if an officer obtains evidence without using the proper course of action (for example, obtaining a valid search warrant), the evidence may not be admissible at trial. In addition to unlawful searches and seizures, there are other reasons to eliminate evidence in a case:
- Miranda rights: A suspect in custody must be read Miranda rights (legal rights) by authorities prior to questioning. If a suspect has not been read his or her Miranda warnings, any statements or admissions made after an arrest could be excluded from evidence.
- Chain of custody: The “Chain of custody” rule refers to the standard care and record of evidence from seizure to trial. If chain of custody is not honored, the evidence may be compromised and inadmissible.
If you want to learn more about how evidence can affect your case, speak with legal professional. The result of an evidentiary hearing could deeply affect your matter. Moreover, there are exceptions to the omission of evidence, so it is important to speak with a lawyer about how to move forward.