Suppression of Evidence
Evidence is suppressed if a judge believes that the evidence in question was obtained illegally by law enforcement agents. This is known as the “exclusionary rule.” In California Penal Code section 1538.5 allows a court to suppress evidence prior to trial. If the court grants the motion to suppress under 1538.5 then the court excludes that evidence from trial. This is known as the “exclusionary rule”.
The judge may also rule that evidence the prosecution improperly or intentionally hid from the defense can not be shown in court. Hiding evidence from the defense is a violation of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. It can result in a mistrial.
Sometimes the judge will allow evidence in court even though it was obtained illegally. This is known as the exception to the exclusionary rule. Here are examples of the exceptions:
- Inevitable discovery – this means that the police would have inevitably found the evidence, with or without the illegal search
- Independent source – the discover of the evidence involved a combination of legal and illegal means, but the evidence could have been discovered by a reliable source
- Good faith – the officers who discovered the evidence has no reason to believe their search was illegal (i.e., believed the search warrant to be valid when it was not)
- Attenuation – if the connection between the illegal search and the evidence is sufficiently weak, the evidence may be considered untainted.
If you have been the victim of an illegal search and seizure and have questions about evidence suppression, you should immediately contact a Search and Seizure Attorney at The Bogan Law Firm, A Professional Corporation, an experienced trial attorney with experience getting evidence suppressed.
Other Common Motions Argued By The Bogan Law Firm, A Professional Corporation
- Speedy Trial (Due Process and Penal Code 1382)
- Motion to Dismiss (Common Law and Penal Code 995)
- Bail or Own Recognizance (O.R.)
- Probable Cause (Penal Code 995 and 991)
- Discovery (Penal Code 1054, Due Process, Brady v. Maryland)
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