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When Can You Suppress Evidence in a Criminal Case?

by | Mar 10, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Were you arrested and charged with a crime in Minnesota? If so, you are probably already aware of the fact that your innocence is presumed until you are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A criminal charge is not the same as a conviction. To obtain a conviction in a criminal case, the prosecution has the burden of presenting evidence that demonstrates the defendant’s culpability.

What evidence is (and is not) allowed into a trial can make all of the difference in the ultimate outcome of a case. You may be able to get certain unlawfully obtained or unreliable evidence thrown out of court. Here, our Mankato criminal defense lawyers highlight the key things to know about getting suppressed in a criminal case in Minnesota.

Facing a Criminal Charge in Minnesota: Know Your Rights

You are Protected Against Unlawful Search or Seizure

Under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, you are protected against illegal searches and illegal seizures. Unfortunately, police officers do not always respect a person’s Fourth Amendment rights. If evidence was obtained without a warrant or probable cause, you may be able to get it thrown out of court.

You Have a Right to a Fair Trial

Every American has a basic right to a fair trial. A trial built on a foundation of unreliable evidence is, by definition, a violation of this right. In some cases, evidence can be excluded from a criminal case due to unreliability. This issue often comes up when there are ‘chain of custody errors’. A mistake in the chain of custody can raise serious questions about the reliability of evidence.

How to File a Motion to Suppress Evidence in Minnesota

Prosecutors have a general responsibility to avoid using evidence that was unlawfully obtained or unreliable. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. As a defendant, you may need to take proactive measures to protect your constitutional rights and to get evidence removed from your trial. Minnesota law allows defendants to file a Motion to Suppress Evidence. Essentially, this type of legal filing is a request to get evidence excluded from the case.

A Motion to Suppress is a complex legal filing. A judge will only grant the motion if a defendant presents a strong, well-reasoned case that justifies exclusion. These types of motions are highly time-sensitive. It should be filed well before a criminal trial begins. An experienced Minnesota defense lawyer can review your case and take action to get illegal or unreliable evidence thrown out of court.

Call Our Mankato, MN Criminal Defense Lawyers for Immediate Help

At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Minnesota criminal defense attorneys are reliable, aggressive advocates for clients. If you have any questions about suppressing evidence in a criminal case, we can help. Call us at 507-405-2442 or contact our legal team online to schedule a strictly confidential initial consultation. With office locations in Mankato and Rochester, we provide criminal defense services throughout all of Southern Minnesota.