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What Is a Motion to Suppress Evidence?
A motion to suppress evidence is a formal, legal tool that the lawyer or pro se plaintiff may use in a trial. This is an application of law submitted to the judge in the case, asking that certain evidence be excluded from consideration in determining the outcome of a trial. A motion to suppress evidence or a motion to suppress may be sought in a criminal or civil.
United States, the legal system weighs each person’s constitutional right to privacy against the public interest to prosecute crimes and law enforcement public and private. Various rules and constitutional rights are in place to protect the privacy of citizens and prevent illegal investigations. If an enforcement agency law violates one of these privacy laws and rules, the evidence is considered overpaid. Where evidence is improperly obtained, as through an illegal search, an attorney may file a motion to suppress the evidence obtained illegally. If the prosecutor can prove that the evidence was not obtained by lawful means, the judge must grant the motion to suppress evidence.
Laws designed to protect the privacy of an individual are the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment mandates that a person and his property can not be searched without reasonable cause. Generally, a warrant is required unless the unlawful elements, are in plain site or the police, or witnesses a crime committed.
The Fifth Amendment also protects the privacy of a person. It guarantees an individual the right to remain silent and right to avoid self-incrimination. Under a Supreme Court case called Miranda v. Arizona, the police must inform a suspect of this right – and of his right to a lawyer – before questioning.
In the justice system, no additional evidence that the police recovered following an illegal search or illegal in question is also inadmissible. This evidence is considered “fruit of poisonous tree.” For example, if the police recover a gun only because the criminal told them where the weapon is in a confession obtained illegally, the weapon is also improperly obtained evidence and may be deleted.
When a motion to suppress evidence is granted, neither the judge nor the jury can decide the matter on the basis of the evidence suppressed. The evidence is not allowed to be presented at trial at all. If the prosecutor can not make a case without the evidence obtained illegally, the criminal defendant may be acquitted.
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