In criminal matters, one of the more common issues is evidence and what comes in and is admissible, and what is kept out and is inadmissible. For example, a previous blog post discussed Miranda Warnings and how they generally apply to questioning. If a confession is obtained without proper Miranda Warnings, it is likely not admissible in Court. Other information would have to be used as evidence to show that a crime was committed.
Similarly, if evidence is obtained illegally or not in the proper matter, that evidence may be excluded from a hearing. For example, if police knock on the door because music is too loud and without any other suspicions or information, search the entire house, top to bottom, including the hidden crawl space in the basement, and there are drugs in the crawl space, evidence that those drugs were found will likely be suppressed. There was no probable cause to be in the crawl space in the basement and there was no warrant or permission to search the entire house for a call for loud music.
Another example would be paraphernalia found during an illegal and warrantless search of a car. If there is no probable cause for a search of a car, yet a search is conducted without a warrant and without permission from the driver, evidence of paraphernalia found in the search would likely be inadmissible.
Each case is different, and the circumstances surrounding the situation, search, and questioning is paramount to determining if it is possible to seek to suppress evidence or confessions. Conferring with a criminal attorney if evidence or confessions have been obtained may help avoid future evidentiary issues at or prior to trial.
We hope that this blog post has been helpful in exploring suppression of evidence generally. This post is not intended as legal advice. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana. This blog post was written by attorney, Jessica Keyes.