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What is tainted evidence?

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2023 | Criminal Defense

If you are facing criminal charges, this means that the prosecution believes they have strong evidence against you. Nonetheless, you are entitled to challenge this evidence in court.

Law enforcement have numerous powers at their disposal during the investigation of crimes. They can interview witnesses, gather incriminating material and much more. In other words, they collect evidence. Despite their powers, law enforcement also must adhere to rules and regulations. They must act within the confines of the law when investigating cases.

It’s possible that some or all of the evidence against you might be tainted. What do we mean by tainted evidence?

Unlawful searches and seizures

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects you from unlawful searches and seizures. This means that law enforcement can’t simply stop you on the street for no reason and conduct a search. They can’t pull you over when you’re driving for no reason and rummage through your vehicle. They are also not, in most cases, allowed to enter your home without obtaining your permission or having a valid search warrant. If police officers obtain evidence without following these rules, then that evidence is considered tainted, and it could be ruled inadmissible by the court.

Coerced statements

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from being forced to make self-incriminating statements. You may choose not to answer their questions until you have legal representation. If law enforcement makes you feel threatened until telling them what you think they want to hear, then this is a coerced statement, which is inadmissible as evidence.

Tainted evidence can form a crucial part of your defense, but you’re going to need to prove that the evidence is illegitimate. Having legal guidance behind you will give you the best possible chance of being successful in your case.