A motion to suppress is a legal request made by the defense in a criminal case to exclude certain evidence from being used against them in court. In other words, the motion seeks to prevent the prosecution from using the affected evidence during a trial.
Common reasons for filing a motion to suppress include Miranda rights violations, police mistakes when handling evidence (chain of custody errors) and violations of your constitutional rights. Here are some ways in which a successful motion can shape the outcome of your criminal case.
It can weaken the prosecution’s case
A motion to suppress can be a game-changer as it affects the admissibility of evidence in a criminal case. If key evidence is suppressed, it can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case. The high standard of proof needed to secure a conviction in criminal cases can be hard to achieve without crucial evidence.
It gives the defense more bargaining power
The outcome of a motion to suppress can influence plea negotiations. For instance, if the suppression of crucial evidence significantly weakens the prosecution’s case, they may be more inclined to offer a favorable plea deal to avoid the risk of losing at trial.
The potential for dismissal or reduction of your charges
As mentioned, the prosecution will not likely proceed to trial with insufficient evidence. Therefore, if a motion to suppress is granted and the excluded evidence is central to the prosecution’s case, your charges may be dismissed or reduced.
Get an informed assessment of your case
Motions to suppress are critical tools in the criminal justice system for ensuring fair trials and protecting defendants’ rights. However, the outcome of such a motion can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case, the strength of the legal arguments presented by the defense and prosecution and the discretion of the judge presiding over the matter.
As such, it helps to seek legal guidance to navigate the complex legal terrain and make informed decisions that will protect your interests.