If you have been charged with a criminal offense but there are doubts raised
about certain pieces of evidence, they may be deemed inadmissible to be
used in court. An experienced
criminal defense attorney to file a motion to suppress evidence that has been illegally
collected by police.
When gathering evidence during a criminal investigation, police are required
to follow strict constitutional and statutory rules. If law enforcement
breaks one of these rules and/or violates the suspect’s rights,
then any illegally collected evidence can be thrown out of trial.
The following are the most common reasons a judge may suppress evidence
in a criminal case:
Unlawful search and seizure – The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires police
to have a warrant or probable cause before searching a person’s
body, home, vehicle, or personal property. If an officer conducts a search
without a warrant or probable cause, a motion to suppress the evidence
gathered in that search may be granted.
Failure to read Miranda warning – You may be familiar with the Miranda rights, which begins with
the phrase, “You have the right to remain silent.” Once a
person is placed in custody and prior to any interrogation or questioning,
the officer must read the individual this warning to protect him/her from
making self-incriminating statements and give him/her the right to a lawyer
present during questioning. If the person has not been read his rights,
the statements made after arrest may not be admissible.
Mistakes in the chain of custody – Referring to the proper documentation and protection of the evidence,
from being collected by police to being presented in court. If an error
occurs at any point in the chain of custody, the evidence may lose credibility
and could be thrown out of trial.
A motion to suppress is a formal, written request to a judge to exclude
specific evidence from trial. Once the motion is filed, a court hearing
before a judge will be held and witnesses—including the arresting
officer—will be called to testify. Once all witnesses provide their
testimony, both the prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer have a chance
to present an argument to the judge. If the judge determines that police
violated the defendant’s rights, the court will exclude certain
pieces of evidence from trial. Without key pieces of evidence for the
prosecution to use against the defendant, this often means the case will
If you have been arrested for a crime in Milwaukee,
contact us and schedule a free consultation with the
Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella today.