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Suppressing evidence might be your ticket to freedom

If you have been arrested for a criminal charge, it may be in your best interest to see whether the proper procedures were followed by law enforcement officers during every phase of your case. Evidence typically plays a big role during a court case. As was famously stated in the O.J. Simpson trial, "if the glove don't fit, you must acquit." And as all know, O.J. was in fact acquitted, and errors by authorities played a significant role in that case.

Even before a court case, there are several steps that must be taken appropriately by authorities during your arrest. The Fourth Amendment protects defendants from unlawful search and seizure of evidence. In a majority of cases, police must obtain a valid search warrant or have probable cause regarding the cause of a crime in order to search a defendant's property, including a car or home, for evidence.

You may have heard someone say, "I plead the Fifth!" Whether this was done among friends in jest or during an actual hearing, the saying refers to the Fifth Amendment protections from indicting oneself. This is also tied into the Miranda Rights, which is to be read to all defendants prior to any interrogation. Failure to have one's Miranda Rights read to them may mean that a case is thrown out.

Every case is different, and what applies to one defendant may or may not be applicable to another. But, if you find yourself facing a criminal charge, it may be part of your criminal defense strategy to attempt to suppress evidence that was obtained in violation of constitutional rights.

Source: FindLaw, "How to Suppress Evidence," accessed on Jan. 10, 2016

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