Using the Exclusionary Rules in Your Criminal Defense

Seeing the evidence pile up against you is an overwhelming and daunting situation. However, that is exactly what the prosecution wants a defendant to feel. But a defendant is not helpless just because the state has evidence against them, resulting in a criminal charge. There are ways to poke holes in the case, even suppressing some of the evidence to help reduce or dismiss the charges against the accused.

One way to reduce the evidence against you in a criminal case is through the exclusionary rule. This rule provides courts with the ability to exclude incriminating evidence from being introduced at trial if there is proof that the evidence in question was collected in violation of the Constitution. Based on an Iowa City defendant's Fourth Amendment right, this rule allows a defendant to challenge the admissibility of evidence.

Working in conjunction with the exclusionary rule, the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine works to also exclude evidence. Under this doctrine, a court also has the ability to exclude from trial evidence that was seized in violation of the Constitution. Additionally, it also works to exclude evidence that was derived from an illegal search.

Although evidence is collected against a criminal defendant, this does not meant that enough evidence has been collected to prove that the accused committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, it is also important for defendants to note their rights to a criminal defense and what mechanisms they could carry out to reduce or dismiss the charges against them.

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