The United States Constitution places limits on what law enforcement officers can do when they are investigating a crime. For example, the 4th Amendment prohibits “unreasonable” searches and seizures, and case law related to the 5th Amendment requires police who are interrogating a suspect to inform the suspect of their right to remain silent, right to counsel, and other important issues.
But what about when law enforcement impinges on a person’s constitutional rights? Unfortunately, the very people that are supposed to uphold the law can knowingly or unknowingly violate the rights of ordinary citizens. These violations can take occur in a number of ways, including the following:
- Pulling a driver over on a “hunch”
- Searching a vehicle without probable cause
- Aggressively interrogating a suspect without informing the suspect about his or her right to counsel
- A police officer forcing himself or herself into a private home without probable cause or an exception to the warrant requirement
- Racial profiling
A Motion to Suppress Can Keep Evidence Out of Court
If evidence has been obtained illegally, it can often be kept out of court by filing a motion to suppress during the pretrial process. Basically, a motion to suppress is a request that the court keep certain evidence from being introduced in the case because it was obtained illegally. In many cases, the exclusion of evidence can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case and may even force the state to drop the case in its entirety. As a result, it is important for anyone who has been accused of a crime to consult with an attorney to determine whether their rights were violated by the police.
Do You Need a Lawyer to File a Motion to Suppress?
There is no law that requires anyone to have an attorney for any part of their criminal trial. However, in order to be persuasive and cite relevant law and arguments, it is critical to have a skilled criminal defense attorney draft your motion to suppress. In fact, without the help of a lawyer, you may not even be aware that getting evidence suppressed is a possibility to help defend against your charges.
Call 732-662-7658 today for more information.
If you have been accused of a crime, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation with New Jersey criminal defense lawyer Leon Matchin, call our office today at 732-662-7658 or contact us online.