Gloved hands using scissors to open a bag of police evidence

Motions to Suppress: Getting Evidence Excluded

Detroit Legal Group PLLC Sept. 28, 2023

Witness statements, fingerprints, surveillance footage, and other physical and non-physical evidence play a pivotal role in the outcome of every criminal case. In fact, judges and juries rely heavily on the evidence presented by the defense and prosecution when making decisions in criminal cases. However, when the evidence against the defendant was obtained illegally or in violation of the defendant’s rights, the defendant or their defense attorney may be able to exclude such evidence from trial by filing a motion to suppress.  

At Detroit Legal Group PLLC, our criminal defense attorneys routinely help clients draft and file motions to suppress inadmissible evidence. We can analyze the evidence against you to determine its admissibility and, if appropriate, ask the judge to exclude the inadmissible evidence from trial. We represent clients facing criminal charges in Detroit, Michigan, as well as Warren, Dearborn, and Southfield.  

What Is a Motion to Suppress? 

A motion to suppress is a request made by the defendant or their defense attorney to exclude certain evidence from trial. According to the official website of the U.S. Department of Justice, a motion to suppress is one of the three most common pre-trial motions, along with a motion to dismiss and a motion to change venue.  

Preferably, a motion to suppress should be filed well in advance of trial, which may result in the dismissal of the charges if the entire case was based on inadmissible evidence. Whether or not a motion to suppress will be granted depends on the admissibility of the evidence in question.  

Motions to suppress are common in cases involving violations of the defendant’s constitutional rights. For example, if the defendant was subjected to an unlawful search and seizure in violation of their rights protected by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, any evidence found during the search and seizure may be excluded from trial after the filing of a motion to suppress.  

Common Grounds for Suppressing Evidence 

Below are some of the most common grounds for requesting the judge to suppress and exclude evidence from a criminal trial: 

  • Evidence was obtained during an unlawful arrest or traffic stop. 

  • Evidence was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (unlawful search and seizure). 

  • Evidence was obtained through Miranda rights violations. 

  • Law enforcement used an invalid search warrant or coerced the defendant into consenting to a search when the evidence was obtained. 

  • The evidence was not handled properly (e.g., law enforcement failed to follow the chain of custody correctly). 

Consult with our attorneys at Detroit Legal Group PLLC if you believe the evidence presented against you was obtained illegally or is otherwise inadmissible and should be excluded from trial.  

What Is the Process for Filing One? 

The process of filing a motion to suppress includes the following steps: 

  1. Establish the legal grounds for the request. In most cases, a motion to suppress is filed before the date of the trial, though it can also be filed when the trial is underway (e.g., the defense considers new evidence presented during the trial to be inadmissible).  

  1. Attend the evidentiary hearing. At the hearing, both sides will present their arguments to convince the judge to keep or exclude the evidence in question.  

  1. Wait for the judge’s decision. After hearing both sides at the evidentiary hearing, the judge will either grant or deny the request to suppress and exclude evidence from the trial. If the motion is granted, the evidence in question will not be presented at the trial. If the motion is denied, the evidence will be allowed to be introduced at the trial.  

If you are thinking of filing a motion to suppress, you might want to consider speaking with an attorney first. Our criminal defense attorneys at Detroit Legal Group PLLC can review the facts of your case and investigate how the evidence was collected to determine if any of the evidence against you should be excluded.  

Legal Representation You Can Count On 

Your freedom and future are on the line when facing criminal charges. However, you may still be able to fight the charges and avoid a conviction. Our attorneys at Detroit Legal Group PLLC can help you explore the defense strategies available to you, one of which may be filing a motion to suppress. Let our skilled and results-driven attorneys take the lead. Contact our office today to request a free case evaluation.