The prosecution relies on evidence to present a strong case. However, there are certain instances when the evidence against you can be excluded from your trial.
The rules of evidence dictate the admissibility of evidence in court. Sometimes, not all evidence goes through to trial. There are several instances when this can happen, as explained below.
When the court can suppress evidence
The court can suppress evidence acquired in violation of your constitutional rights. For instance, an unreasonable search and seizure by law enforcement violates your Fourth Amendment rights. Therefore, evidence obtained from such an unlawful search may not be admissible in court. Similarly, you have a constitutional right to effective legal counsel and protection from self-incrimination, which law enforcement must uphold.
The court can also suppress evidence due to mistakes in the chain of custody. Some procedures must be followed when handling evidence for it to meet the admissibility threshold, collectively known as the chain of custody. If the police cannot account for the evidence at every step, from when they acquired it to its presentation in court, it may be suppressed.
Why it is important to your defense
When the court suppresses evidence, it will not be used at any point in your case. It can be to your advantage because proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt may be impossible without key evidence.
Looking into the admissibility of evidence against you is crucial to any criminal defense. However, it is sometimes a complex legal question. Therefore, it is advisable to reach out for experienced legal guidance.