Proactive Criminal Defense Strategies And The Suppression Of Evidence
Being accused of a crime is overwhelming. But it is important to remember that you are innocent, until Pennsylvania state or federal prosecutors prove otherwise. At Decker Bradburn, Attorneys at Law, in State College, our criminal defense attorneys are fierce advocates for our clients’ rights. We approach every case proactively, especially when it comes to crafting and preparing your state or federal criminal defense strategy. Just because we are the defense, doesn’t mean that we don’t take the offense whenever possible, this includes attacking the government’s evidence against you to protect your rights.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty And The Prosecutor’s Burden Of Proof
In the state of Pennsylvania, criminal charges can be brought by the U.S. government for federal crimes, or the District Attorney on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for state crimes. Regardless, anyone who is accused of a crime and facing criminal charges is presumed to be innocent until it can be proven that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Motions To Suppress Evidence In Pennsylvania
In the state of Pennsylvania, the defendant has the right to request that the state’s evidence should be suppressed. Prior to trial, the defense can file a motion describing the evidence that should be suppressed and set forth the legal grounds for the suppression of the evidence. Legal grounds for suppressing evidence include:
- Illegal search and seizure: If the police are gathering evidence, they have to conduct it in a way that protects your constitutional rights. This means that if the police conducted an illegal search to obtain evidence, it can be suppressed.
- Failure to honor the defendant’s Miranda rights: A defendant has the right to remain silent. Police are required to tell you that anything you say could potentially be used as evidence in a case against you. If a defendant was not notified of their Miranda rights, any evidence obtained can be suppressed.
- Protection from coercion or involuntary confession: Investigators may not coerce a client into a confession, and any confession must be provided voluntarily. If there is evidence that investigators coerced a defendant, that confession can be suppressed.
If a motion to suppress evidence is successful, federal prosecutors or district attorneys will not be allowed to present that evidence to a jury when and if the case goes to trial.
Examples Of Evidence That Can Be Suppressed In A Criminal Case
Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, there are a lot of types of evidence that could successfully be suppressed prior to a criminal trial. Examples of evidence that can be suppressed can include:
- In a drug possession case or a DUI case, if the officer did not have a reason, such as a traffic violation, to stop or detain a defendant, any evidence gathered during the illegal traffic stop can be suppressed.
- In a DUI case, if the method for determining your blood alcohol content was faulty or the proper protocols were not handled for testing your blood alcohol content were not followed, the evidence obtained can be suppressed.
- If a police officer does not provide the defendant with a Miranda warning, anything that the defendant says or any evidence gathered after the warning should have been provided can be suppressed.
- If police search your home or vehicle without probable cause, any evidence of a crime that they uncovered connecting you to a crime can be suppressed.
- If the defense can prove that a witness was unreliable, biased or faulty, any statement made by that witness connecting you to a crime can be suppressed.
Our criminal defense attorneys have successfully argued for the suppression of evidence in several different cases. Once the potentially condemning evidence is suppressed, the District Attorney may not even have enough evidence to proceed to trial, and be forced to dismiss the case altogether.
Accused Of A Crime? Contact A Criminal Defense Attorney Today.
If you are facing criminal charges, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. The sooner you have an experienced criminal defense attorney working on your behalf, the sooner your rights will be protected and the better chance you have at preserving your future and your freedom. We offer free consultations for prospective clients. You can schedule your free appointment by calling our office at 814-470-8023 or by sending us an email through our website.