If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, you’ve probably got a lot of questions about what the process entails and your likelihood of beating of the prosecution. That’s understandable, and it’s important to ask those questions, even if you think that the evidence is so stacked against you that there’s no way that you’re going to escape conviction. This is because even the strongest case might be susceptible to effective criminal defense strategies.
This is often especially true in drug cases. Here, illegal actions taken by the police and improper handling of evidence may give you enough wiggle room to draw the prosecution’s case into question.
The basics of evidence suppression
One way this can be effectively accomplished is by filing a motion to suppress evidence. If you’re successful in convincing the court to grant this motion, the prosecution will be disallowed from using certain pieces of evidence against you, which can subsequently lead to reduced charges, dismissed charges or acquittal.
So, when can evidence be suppressed? Here are some of the arguments that your attorney might be able to make on your behalf:
- You were subjected to an illegal traffic stop: The police can’t stop you just because they feel like it. Instead, they must have a reasonable suspicion that you’ve broken the law. If, however, law enforcement stops you without that requisite suspicion, you’ve been stopped illegally. When this happens, any subsequent action taken by the police is also considered illegal, including searching you or your vehicle and seizing narcotics.
Therefore, if you were subjected to an illegal traffic stop, you might be able to persuade a court that the evidence that was gathered during that stop is tainted and is, therefore, inadmissible in court. This is known as the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine, and it can have a profound impact on the outcome of your case.
- The prosecution’s evidence was mishandled: Remember, the burden of proving your guild rests with the prosecution. Therefore, they have to prove that any evidence being submitted against you is actually what they say it is. But if errors were made in the collection and storage of evidence, you might be able to draw its validity into question. If you’re able to do that to a great extent, the court might disallow the evidence from being used entirely.
- Witnesses failed to appear for depositions: A deposition is the process of taking sworn testimony outside of court and prior to trial. It’s a great way to learn how witnesses will testify, but only if they show up. If you subpoena witnesses to these depositions and they don’t appear, you may be able to block them from testifying against you at trial.
There are other legal strategies that you can implement to try to block the prosecution’s evidence. For example, you may be able to successfully argue that certain evidence being presented against you is unfairly prejudicial or that it isn’t relevant to the crime that’s been charged.
Know your criminal defense options
In order to appropriately fight back against the prosecution, you’ll need to know what tools you have in the criminal defense toolbox. An attorney who is well-versed in this area of the law may be able to help you here so that you can be confident that you’re doing everything you can to protect your freedom and your future.
If you want to learn more about what strategies you can use in your case, you might want to reach out to a criminal defense legal team to discuss the facts of your case.