Motion to Suppress
Motion to Suppress
- What is a Motion to Suppress?
- A Motion to Suppress is filed by your lawyer.
- It asks the judge to suppress evidence from the case.
- E.g. If the cops found drugs on a person. A motion to Suppress would be used to disallow the drugs from being entered into evidence.
- Without certain types of physical evidence, many cases must be dismissed.
- For example, without drugs in a drug possession case, the case will be dismissed.
- How does a Motion to Suppress Work?
- Every person is granted fundamental rights under the Constitution.
- One of those rights is the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
- A motion to suppress works by attacking the search against a person’s Constitutional rights.
- The Federal Government has laid out groundwork for what the Constitutional rights entail.
- States must grant citizens at least the Federal rights; however, states are allowed to grant even more rights. No state is allowed to grant less rights than what the Federal Government has determined are the Constitutional Rights to be Free from an unreasonable search.
- A motion to Suppress challenges the legality of the search or the seizure of an individual.
- E.g. If a person was stopped illegally, then the fruits of that search can be excluded (under Exclusionary Rule) where the stop was illegally and unconstitutionally performed.
- In many instances, the De Facto Rule is that a warrant is required to perform a search.
- However, there are a vast number of exceptions to that rule.
- Each motion is different because each motion depends on different factors.
- What can be excluded?
- Physical and Non-Physical Evidence Can be excluded.
- E.g. Physical Evidence: unlawful contraband like illicit drugs or drug pipe would be physical evidence that would be excludable with a successful motion to suppress.
- E.g. Non-physical Evidence: A police officers observations during a DUI or a Defendant’s confession would be examples of non-physical evidence that could be excludable.
- Effect on Case:
- In many cases a successful motion means that the case is over. For example if the allegations are possession of marijuana, a successful motion to suppress would virtually be an automatic win in that case.
- However, there are instances where a successful motion is not the end of the story. For example, consider a case where there is sufficient evidence of a crime and in addition the police also receive a Defendant’s confession. If the Defendant’s confession is suppressed, the case will still move forward, albeit with less evidence against the Defendant.
In Sum, motion practice is an important part of any lawyer’s job. Make sure that you speak with a law firm that knows