If you are a person of interest in a criminal matter, part of the police’s investigation may involve obtaining evidence for use against you should the matter go to trial. After all, the prosecution has a duty to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you committed the crime in question to secure a conviction.
However, the prosecution cannot use underhand tactics to have their way. In other words, they cannot violate your constitutional rights. If the police obtain evidence illegally, you may challenge and have such evidence thrown out.
But when is evidence deemed to be illegally obtained?
At the very basic, any evidence that is collected in violation of your constitutional rights is deemed to be illegally obtained. Most often, such evidence is obtained in violation of your 4th Amendment, 5th Amendment and 6th Amendment rights.
Here are some of the instances when the police mah have illegally obtained evidence against you:
- When there is a lack of probable cause
- When they unlawfully wiretap or install spy cameras on your property
- When the search is warrantless
- When you are coerced into making a confession
- When your property is improperly seized
- When you are unlawfully detained
Both state and federal laws protect suspects from unlawfully obtained evidence. This is outlined in the doctrine of Exclusionary Rule and it includes evidence that violates both the U.S. Constitution and Maryland law.
Protecting your rights
Facing a criminal charge is a big deal. A conviction can result in far-reaching legal and personal consequences. If you believe the evidence the prosecution is using against you was illegally obtained, then you need to explore your legal options so you can defend yourself and safeguard your rights.