Thomas Carroll Blauvelt

How police mistakes can impact the admissibility of evidence

The wheels of the criminal justice system start turning when you are placed under arrest. As such, law enforcement plays a big part in shaping the outcome of a criminal case, and any mistakes by the police can have a significant impact.

It could be errors in search and seizure procedures, failure to read Miranda rights, mishandling of evidence or violation of constitutional rights. Either way, the affected evidence may be deemed inadmissible in court. Here is what this means.

The court may exclude evidence from your trial

Suppose the police obtained evidence against you in violation of your constitutional rights or made other mistakes that taint its integrity or reliability in court. In that case, a judge may suppress such evidence. This follows a motion to suppress filed by the defense, challenging the admissibility of evidence on various grounds.

When a judge grants the motion, the suppressed evidence is essentially struck out of your case and will not make it to the trial. This has the potential to significantly weaken the prosecution’s case against you, especially if crucial evidence is suppressed.

The potential outcomes of evidence suppression

As mentioned, suppressing evidence could poke holes in the prosecution’s case and raise reasonable doubt, making it difficult or impossible to secure a conviction. This can lead to a reduction or dismissal of the charges you face.

It also gives the defense more negotiating power when bargaining a plea deal since the prosecution may not be so eager to proceed to trial with a weak case.

Evidence suppression is often a legally technical and complex process. Therefore, it helps to have qualified legal assistance to understand how everything works and help devise effective strategies for evidence suppression. It can bolster your defense and increase the chances of a desirable outcome.

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