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More Than 20 Years Of Experience With Criminal Matters

Is it possible to keep certain evidence out of a criminal trial?

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2023 | Criminal

Someone facing criminal charges in Indiana will need to consider all of their options as carefully as possible. All too often, those arrested on allegations of some criminal offense in Indiana hastily plead guilty instead of exploring options that may empower them to avoid a criminal record. Those who plead guilty have to accept the penalties handed down by the courts and will live with a criminal record indefinitely.

When the state seems to have evidence that someone committed a crime, the defendant in question may feel hopeless and as though they do not have any options for defending against the charges they’re facing. Yet, a variety of criminal defense strategies may be viable under certain circumstances. For example, it is possible to exclude certain evidence from criminal proceedings when specific criteria are met.

The state can’t use ill-gotten evidence

There are many rules restricting how police officers gather evidence and how prosecutors present their cases in criminal court. If police officers violate someone’s rights during an investigation, prosecutors might not be able to present the evidence that the officers gathered at trial.

The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures. For those accused of a crime, its protections can prove invaluable. It prevents police officers from conducting unwarranted searches or interrogating people in certain circumstances. Prosecutors may not be able to use evidence gained during illegal searches or confessions obtained in inappropriate circumstances. The defense attorney representing the party accused can potentially assert someone’s Fourth Amendment rights during a criminal trial and convince a judge to exclude certain evidence.

Prosecutors may find themselves with very weak cases when a judge determines that a confession or all of the evidence obtained during a specific search will not be admissible during the trial. They may even need to dismiss the charges in some cases.

Not every defendant has the option of relying on their lawyer to keep evidence out of court. But, it may be possible to counter the evidence or to bring in expert witnesses who can more effectively interpret it than the state. Recognizing that the existence of evidence does not inherently mean that someone will end up convicted can help people find the motivation they need to mount a defense when facing criminal charges.