In any criminal trial, evidence is usually the foundation of the prosecution’s case. Should it be insufficient, your trial is not likely to result in a conviction. Therefore, you should be keen on the legality and admissibility of the evidence presented against you.
If there are doubts about the admissibility of any evidence, you may file a motion with the court to suppress it. If the court agrees, that evidence will not be used to arrive at your trial’s verdict. Here are some reasons that may happen:
Illegally obtained evidence
The constitution protects you from unlawful searches and seizures. If the police violate your rights by conducting an illegal search, you may move the court to suppress any evidence they acquired from the search.
Failure to be made aware of your rights
If you are in custody, you need to be informed of your rights before interrogation or questioning. That way, you will be aware that any statements you make can be used against you in a court of law. If the police do not inform you of your Miranda rights and you end up making self-incriminating statements, they may be excluded from your trial.
Improper handling of your evidence
When evidence is mishandled, and there is a mix-up or is improperly stored, leading to its destruction, it may not be admissible in court. Generally, any errors in the chain of custody can make evidence unreliable in arriving at a verdict.
When key evidence in your case is suppressed, the charges against you could be reduced or dropped altogether. However, you need to know that suppressing evidence is not so straightforward since you are likely to face opposition from the prosecution.
Learning more about the rules of evidence will enable you to protect your rights and help make the right decisions regarding your defense strategy.