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Four ways to block the prosecution’s evidence

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Criminal Defense

When you’re accused of a criminal offense like drug possession, the police and prosecutors are going to rest their case on witness testimony and physical evidence. And the evidence gathered in your case might appear overwhelming, leaving you convinced that you should take a plea deal as quickly as possible to try to avoid the harsh penalties being threatened against you.

While a plea deal may be your best option in your drug case, you shouldn’t make that decision until you’ve fully assessed your criminal defense options. After all, you might have strong legal strategies available to you that could lead to reduced charges, minimized penalties, dismissed charges, or an acquittal at trial. One of the most effective ways to achieve that outcome is to suppress the prosecution’s evidence.

How can you block the prosecution’s evidence in your drug case?

Your ability to suppress evidence is determined by the facts of your case. If you can successfully suppress evidence, though, then you prevent the prosecution from using it against you. So, when can you block the prosecution’s evidence? Here are some circumstances that may warrant a motion to suppress:

  • You weren’t read your rights prior to questioning: When the police take you into custody and start asking you questions, they’re required to advise you of your Miranda rights. These include the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present during the questioning. If the police don’t advise you of these rights and you subsequently make incriminating statements, then you have a good chance at suppressing those statements and blocking the prosecution from using them against you at trial.
  • You were subjected to an illegal traffic stop: The police can’t pull you over just because they have a hunch. They need to have an articulable justification for initiating a stop, and one that is firmly based on the law. If the police lacked reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop you and then gather incriminating evidence by searching you or your vehicle, then you can probably successfully argue that the search itself was tainted by illegality, and the evidence gathered should therefore be suppressed.
  • The evidence was mishandled: The prosecution has to provide reasonable assurances that evidence wasn’t mishandled or otherwise compromised before being offered against you at trial. Yet, all too often the police sloppily gather, store, and test incriminating evidence. This throws the reliability of the evidence into question. If you can highlight these issues with reliability, then the court may be convinced to throw the evidence out altogether.
  • Witnesses don’t appear for depositions: Before going to trial, you need to know what the prosecution’s witnesses are going to say on the stand. The best way to learn this is by deposing those witnesses. If you subpoena a witness to a deposition and they fail to appear, then you can argue to the court that it’d be unfair for the prosecution to present their testimony against you. In most instances, the court will agree and will deny the prosecution’s ability to call that individual as a witness.

Comprehensively assess your criminal defense options

Before making any final decisions in your criminal case, you should fully analyze the criminal defense options at your disposal. Doing so could open the door to new possibilities that more fully protect your freedom and your future.