Motion to Suppress in Illinois Criminal Cases
A real life criminal case is not like the dramatized cases on TV. Often, the most crucial work criminal defense lawyers will do happens long before a jury is seated and a trial begins. One tool that seasoned criminal defense lawyers use to help protect their clients is bringing a motion to suppress evidence.
Your Constitutional Rights
Every criminal defendant in the United States is entitled to several constitutional protections. Among these protections is the right to confront the evidence against you. You also have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and to be given due process.
Over the years, the Illinois Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court have held that the penalty for law enforcement violating these constitutional rights is to have any evidence that was collected improperly be suppressed, or withheld from trial.
It is the job of the criminal defense attorney to bring any misconduct in the law enforcement investigation to the attention of the court. The most common way this is done is through a motion to suppress. Motions to suppress are brought weeks before a trial even starts.
Reasons for Challenging Evidence
There are several reasons for challenging evidence through a motion to suppress. In fact this tool is so important that it is one of the most used motions in the entire criminal justice system.
Defense lawyers may try and keep out a confession that was coerced or was given before the defendant was informed of his or her right to remain silent.
Improper searches from car stops may be excluded if the stop or search were not done according to the law.
Sometimes the way law enforcement conducted a lineup or a photo throw down may be a violation of a defendant’s due process rights. Motions to suppress allow defense attorneys the chance to get such evidence excluded.
Sometimes, one of the advantages of challenging evidence has to do with seeing how the other side responds. Pre-trial hearings can give defense attorneys a better idea of how key witnesses will testify. Even when the defense loses a motion to suppress, defense attorneys may spot other cracks in the prosecution's case. It also provides a written record that can be used if any witnesses change their story later at trial.
Motions to suppress help protect the rights of criminal defendants and help keep the prosecution and law enforcement accountable.
Make sure your rights are defended to the fullest extent of the law. If you have been accused or charged with a crime, do not talk to anyone about your case until you have spoken with a dedicated and experienced Naperville criminal defense attorney. Call today to setup a consultation. The future of your case may depend on it.