Evidence plays a vital role in criminal cases here in California. The prosecution uses evidence in an attempt to secure a conviction. A defense lawyer can take steps to prevent the use of some evidence under Penal Code 1538.5. PC 1538.5 deals with motions to suppress evidence.
A motion to suppress evidence asks the court to set aside evidence that was gathered improperly. This can weaken the prosecution’s case in some situations. Find out more about motions to suppress evidence with the Simmrin Law Group. Call (310) 997-4688 for the legal answers you need.
Motions to Suppress Evidence
Motions to suppress evidence are commonly used in criminal trials in California. These motions are made by the defense. They are sometimes called suppression motions, or 1538.5 motions.
Motions to suppress are used in both misdemeanor and felony cases here in California. They are not used at the same time in these cases, however.
Suppression Motions for Misdemeanor Charges
Individuals facing misdemeanor charges can file a suppression motion even during their arraignment hearing if they wish to do so. The arraignment hearing is the first part of criminal proceedings in California. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can also file a suppression motion at other pre-trial hearings.
Generally, a suppression motion must be filed before a criminal trial starts. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if the prosecution found new evidence after your criminal trial begins, your lawyer could file a motion to suppress evidence in this situation.
Suppression Motions for Felony Charges
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Reasons to Suppress Evidence in California
The court system in California only suppresses evidence in specific situations. Generally, evidence can only be blocked if it was obtained illegally. The police can obtain evidence illegally if they conducted a search without a search warrant AND had reasonable cause.
However, evidence can be acquired illegally even if the police have a search warrant. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can argue that the evidence was obtained illegally if:
- The police used an insufficient warrant
- The court issued the warrant even though they did not have probable cause
- The police executed the warrant in an unconstitutional way
These are only examples of a reasonable cause to suppress evidence in California. Find out more about suppression hearings from the Simmrin Law Group and how to handle them by calling us at (310) 997-4688.
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Handling a 1538.5 Hearing in California
The burden of proof is an important part of a legal proceeding in California. Generally, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. They have to prove that someone committed a crime in a criminal case. The prosecution also has the burden of proof in certain suppression motion hearings.
The prosecution must show that a search was lawful if it was conducted without a warrant. However, if the police had a warrant then the burden of proof shifts to the defense. In this situation, the defense has to show that the search was illegal or unreasonable.
In order to resolve a suppression hearing, a judge can view a number of different kinds of evidence. Lawyers can present testimony from:
- The defendant
- The police
The prosecution and defense can also make their legal arguments. A judge will then decide how to resolve the suppression hearing.
Outcomes of a Suppression Hearing in California
There are two primary resolutions for a suppression hearing in California. A judge can decide to suppress evidence which means that the prosecution cannot use it. At this point, the prosecution could agree to a plea bargain. In some cases, the court will even end up dismissing criminal charges.
In other cases, a judge can rule that the evidence is legal. The prosecution can continue to use the evidence in this situation.
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Learn More About How to File a Motion to Suppress Evidence in California
A lawyer can make a motion to suppress evidence in criminal cases in California under Penal Code 1538.5. The Simmrin Law Group can file a motion to suppress evidence on your behalf. Our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles are standing by to help. Find out how with a free consultation.
You can reach us if you call (310) 997-4688. We also have an online contact form for you.