Law enforcement officers have a duty to respect your constitutional rights when they are gathering evidence against you in support of criminal charges. As a result, if a court later finds that the evidence was obtained illegally, then the court may suppress the evidence, or not allow the prosecution to use the evidence in court. Depending on the importance of the evidence to the charges against you, the prosecutor may have a much weaker case against you and may even be forced to dismiss the charges.
A defense attorney files a motion to suppress evidence based on an allegation that law enforcement officers obtained evidence in a manner that violated your constitutional rights. The defense has the burden of proving that the evidence was obtained illegally. This can be a difficult standard to meet.
One common basis for the suppression of evidence is that law enforcement officials violated your rights against unlawful search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. For example, a police officer either must have a valid search warrant, your consent, or probable cause to search your vehicle or your residence. If the officer seizes any type of evidence without using one of these procedures, then the search might have been illegal. As a result, individuals may be able to suppress the evidence gained from the search.
Another common basis for suppression of evidence is failure of a police officer to read you a Miranda warning before questioning you about a potential crime. If the officer intends to use your statements against you in court or to support a criminal charge, then he or she must first advise you of your basic rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to consult with an attorney. The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal defense of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf in order to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 359-3362 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys today.