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Common examples of inadmissible evidence

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Evidence is the most important aspect of any criminal case. The police obtain evidence for the prosecution that aims to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt, and the defense looks to create reasonable doubt by showing flaws in the evidence.

Despite having powers to investigate crimes, the police must conduct themselves in a certain manner. They cannot obtain evidence inappropriately. Otherwise, that evidence becomes inadmissible in court.

What are some of the more common examples of inadmissible evidence?

Unlawful searches and seizures

Evidence is often seized from searches of properties, vehicles and individuals. Generally, this evidence can only be seized if the police have followed the proper procedures, such as obtaining a warrant.

If the police entered a home or vehicle or searched a person without a warrant or probable cause, anything they seized may be deemed inadmissible. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unlawful searches and seizures.

Unlawful traffic stops

Traffic violations, such as DUI are a top priority for law enforcement in Virginia. Thus, officers carry out traffic stops and administer breathalyzer tests on a regular basis. However, officers are not entitled to pull a vehicle over just because they feel like it. They must have a reasonable suspicion that an offense has been committed. Evidence obtained from a traffic stop that cannot be justified by reasonable suspicion may be ruled inadmissible.

Hearsay evidence, forced confessions and prejudicial evidence may also be ruled inadmissible in criminal cases. If you’re facing criminal charges, then it’s important to start thinking about the strength of the evidence against you. Obtaining as much legal information as possible will help find weaknesses in that evidence if they exist.      

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