Allegations that you’ve committed a drug crime can have a tremendously negative impact on your future. The accusations alone may be enough to harm your reputation, cause job loss, and wreak havoc on your personal life, such as by impacting your ability to secure a favorable child custody arrangement. A conviction can be even more detrimental, leaving you facing the very real prospect of incarceration and long-term impact on your ability to find housing and employment.
With so much on the line, it can be scary to confront an aggressive prosecution. But even if all hope seems lost, there may be strong criminal defense strategies that you can deploy to protect your interests. Among them is to seek suppression of the evidence that the prosecution intends to use against you.
The basics of evidence suppression
Evidence suppression is the process in which you ask the court to disallow the prosecution from submitting certain pieces of evidence against you. This request is typically made because the evidence in question is unreliable, or its use is simply fundamentally unfair. If you succeed in suppressing evidence, you may blast a gigantic hole in the prosecution’s case, which will likely increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your criminal case.
How is evidence suppressed?
In order to suppress evidence, you’re going to have to file a motion with the court making your request. In your motion, you’ll have to state your justification for the requested suppression, which may include any of the following:
- The evidence was obtained from an illegal search: In most instances, the police need a warrant to search you, your car, or your home. Even if they don’t have one, though, they may be able to utilize one of a number of recognized exceptions to the warrant requirement. If one of these exceptions is misused, your Constitutional rights may be violated. For example, if narcotics were found in your vehicle after an unjustified and, therefore, illegal traffic stop, you’ll probably have a strong argument that the evidence that was collected, although indicative that you committed a crime, should be suppressed and, therefore, prevented from being used against you.
- Poor evidence collection and storage practices: In order to ensure that evidence isn’t compromised, the police need to make sure that it is collected and stored appropriately. However, mistakes are made all the time in this regard. If you can spot errors, you might be able to exploit them to convince a judge that the evidence lacks credibility and shouldn’t be used against you.
- You’re unable to depose witnesses: One of the best ways to figure out what evidence the prosecution intends to use against you is to depose its witnesses, meaning that you take sworn testimony from them prior to trial. However, if you subpoena the prosecution’s witnesses for these depositions and they fail to appear and otherwise cooperate, it would be unfair for the prosecution to use those witness’s testimony against you at trial. This, in turn, would warrant a request to suppress.
Use strong criminal defense strategies to your advantage
There are a lot of criminal defense tactics out there that you might be able to deploy in your case. Any one of them may give you the arguments that you need to tip the scales in your favor. That’s why it might be best for you to discuss the circumstances of your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help walk you through your options and aggressively pursue those that are best for your case.