While witness testimony often serves as the backbone of a criminal prosecution, there are a lot of instances where physical evidence is just as damaging to a defense’s case. This evidence might seem overwhelming and insurmountable, but depending on the fact at hand, there might be criminal defense options available that can quickly turn the tables and increase the chances of dismissed charges or an acquittal.
Perhaps the strongest way to negate the effect of the prosecution’s physical evidence is to keep it away from the jury. If you can suppress the evidence, then that means that it can’t be used against you at trial. This can quickly derail the prosecution’s case and give you a lot of leverage to achieve an outcome that is best for you.
So how do you suppress evidence? There are a couple of ways. The primary way is to demonstrate that the officers who gathered the evidence violated the law in some way. For example, if a police officer initiates a traffic stop without a legal reason, then any subsequently gathered evidence, such as breathalyzer test results or narcotics, might be deemed tainted and thus inadmissible at trial. This is known as the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine.
You might even be able to attack something as simple as chain of custody. Before submitting items into evidence at trial, the prosecution has to demonstrate that the item is what it claims it to be. If you can show that there are major gaps in the handling of physical evidence, then you might be able to sow enough doubt as to the validity of the exhibit, and thereby successfully argue that it should be suppressed.
Building a comprehensive criminal defense
In order to present the best criminal defense possible, you need to have a comprehensive approach to your case. That means knowing your criminal defense options and aggressively pursing the best avenues, leaving no stone unturned. Fortunately, you don’t have to face these issues on your own. Skilled criminal defense attorneys stand ready to assist you every step of the way.