What is a Motion to Suppress?
A Motion to Suppress is a pretrial motion filed by the defense and must follow the Florida rules of Criminal Procedure. It presents the argument to the court that evidence was obtained in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights and should therefore be inadmissible at trial. If the court agrees there were constitutional violations and decides in favor of the defendant, the evidence will be thrown out and cannot be used against the defendant at trial or in any other proceeding.
The evidence that is the subject of the Motion to Suppress may be physical evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment or statements made by the defendant in violation of the Fifth Amendment. Your Jacksonville criminal defense attorney will carefully review the evidence, the circumstances of how the evidence was obtained, and determine if a motion to suppress is warranted.
Suppression of Evidence Seized in Violation of the Fourth Amendment
The Fourth Amendment guarantees all people the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures and, absent a few exceptions, can only be conducted with a warrant that is issued based on probable cause. Some specific reasons to file a Motion to Suppress for Fourth Amendment violations include:
· The property was seized without a warrant.
· The warrant was illegally issued and was not based on probable cause.
· The property seized is not the property described in the warrant.
· The warrant was not legally executed.
· Law enforcement had no probable cause to make a traffic stop.
Suppression of Evidence and Statements Seized in Violation of the Fifth Amendment
The Fifth Amendment protects people from being witnesses against themselves. The Miranda warnings that any television crime drama watcher can repeat verbatim is founded on the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Statements made by a defendant, whether an admission or full confession, may be the subject of a Motion to Suppress and the statements may be held to be inadmissible if proper Miranda warnings were not given.
The Motion to Suppress must be filed before trial or the opportunity to challenge the evidence as being seized illegally is lost. A trial court order denying a Motion to Suppress can be appealed.
If you have been charged with an offense, contact the Law Office of James Davis where you will find a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer with the experience and dedication you need in defending you and in filing the proper Motion to Suppress when it is in your best interest.