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Texas Criminal Cases: Motions to Suppress Evidence

If you face criminal charges, the outcome of your case will likely come down – at least in part – to the evidence that the prosecution has against you. And this is what makes motions to suppress evidence so critical to the criminal justice system. If a criminal charge has been levied against you, it is a good idea to have a solid understanding of how motions to suppress evidence work. 

Related: Texas Criminal Charges: How They are Determined

The Evidence Seized

If a charge has been brought against you, it is very likely that evidence was seized from you, your vehicle, or your residence either before, during, or after your arrest. In order for the evidence to be used against you in a court of law, however, it must have been gathered legally. Anything that is seized illegally must be excluded from your case by the court, which could cause your criminal charge to be completely dismissed (or can at least make the path forward less daunting). Motions to dismiss evidence are a powerful weapon in the arsenal of defense attorneys and are among the criminal motions that are filed most frequently, but the burden of proof in these motions is high.

Your Constitutional Rights

We all enjoy constitutional rights that protect us from evidence that is seized unlawfully, and these extend to identifications, statements, and physical evidence that are unlawfully seized.

Unlawful Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects Americans from unlawful search and seizure. The police must have either probable cause or a warrant (barring some exceptions) in order to search any of the following:

  • Your person

  • Your vehicle

  • Your residence

  • Any other property that belongs to you

Without the requisite probable cause or warrant, any evidence seized is considered the fruit of the poisonous tree. This amounts to evidence that your criminal attorney could potentially have excluded via a motion to suppress evidence.

Failure to Provide Full Miranda Warning

Before a police officer can question you regarding a criminal charge, he or she must read you what has come to be known as your Miranda rights (in their entirety). This is the part where the officer says, "you have the right to remain silent" . . . Your Miranda rights are intended to inform you of the rights you have when you are subjected to questioning by the police, and these include the right to retain the legal counsel of a criminal lawyer. Any statements that a police officer coaxes out of you during the course of your questioning could be suppressed if the officer failed to read you your Miranda rights or you did not subsequently waive them.

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Killeen Criminal Lawyer Today

Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a formidable criminal lawyer who has the experience, drive, and legal insight to skillfully advocate for your legal rights and your claim’s best possible resolution. To learn more, please do not wait to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today