If evidence that is being used against an individual in a court was not lawfully obtained, an attorney is often able to file a Motion to Suppress Evidence. If successful, this motion can be used to keep evidence out of a court of law.
There are several types of situations in which evidence is most often unlawfully obtained. Some examples of these types of situations include the following:
- An Individual Was Not Provided With Miranda Rights. An individual must be read Miranda rights prior to being interrogated by law enforcement. These rights inform individuals about several constitutional rights that an individual has including the right to remain silent, the right to a trial, and the right to an attorney. If an individual has not been read rights then statements obtained after the arrest may not be admissible. As a result, individuals might be able to argue that to exclude incriminating statements that were made after an arrest when an individual was not read their Miranda rights.
- Chain Of Custody Orders. The “chain of custody” is a phrase that refers to the process of care and documentation that a piece of evidence goes through between being obtained and being used in a court of law. If the chain of custody is improperly performed, individuals might be able that the evidence in question should be excluded from a court of law because the evidence has lost credibility.
- Evidence Obtained Without An Individual's Consent. Video recordings of a person on private property are sometimes excludable because these videos were taken without consent or a valid warrant.
- Unlawful Search and Seizure. The Fourth Amendment protects individuals against unreasonable searches and seizure. With the exception of a very few limited situations, law enforcement must have a valid search warrant or probable cause that a crime has been committed in order search and collect evidence.
Responses by Law Enforcement
Individuals must be aware that even when law enforcement improperly gathers evidence, there are still some ways that law enforcement can make sure that a piece of evidence is used in a court of law. Some of the various tactics used by law enforcement are arguing an illegally seized piece of evidence would have eventually been discovered through legal methods or that another source in a case would have provided the evidence that was illegally obtained.
Contact An Experienced Birmingham Sex Crimes Attorney
Individuals often find that a highly skilled criminal defense attorney is necessary to craft strong arguments in response to evidence that was illegally obtained. If you believe that illegally obtained evidence is being used against you, do not hesitate to contact a talented Birmingham sex crimes attorney like Steve D. Eversole at Eversole Law LLC.