Many of our readers in Florida may have heard of a motion to suppress in a criminal case. However, this type of legal jargon can sometimes cause confusion for criminal defendants facing charges in Florida. So, what does it mean to suppress evidence in a criminal case?
Well, in plain terms, to suppress evidence means to keep the evidence in question from being used against the defendant in the case. The genesis of such an effort is for the defendant and defense attorney to carefully review the evidence that has been gathered by law enforcement officials and determine what evidence the prosecutor intends to use to prove each element of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Just because a law enforcement officer gathers evidence does not mean that the prosecutor will actually use it in court. But, the prosecution is compelled by the law to turn over all evidence in the case.
If the defense determines that some of the prosecution’s evidence was obtained through questionable, illegal or unconstitutional means, it may be prudent to pursue a motion to suppress that evidence. In such a motion, the defense must outline the reasons why the evidence in question should not be allowed in the case. The prosecution will then have an opportunity to respond.
Each year in Florida thousands of people face criminal charges. In some of those cases, questionable evidence may be suppressed. However, each case is unique, so those facing charges should contact an attorney to help them with their criminal defense.