If you are charged with a crime, the evidence used to justify the decision to do so might be suppressed during a pre-trial hearing. There is also a chance that witness testimony, messages found on a cellphone or the results of a Breathalyzer test could be ruled inadmissible at trial. There are several factors that a Pennsylvania judge may need to consider when deciding if evidence should be thrown out.
Were you read your Miranda rights?
When you’re being taken into custody, an officer is required to inform you of your right to remain silent before you undergo interrogation. This person is also required to inform you of your right to speak with a criminal defense attorney. If you make any statement before this happens, that statement might be suppressed. The same may be true if you’re coerced into talking to authorities after clearly invoking these rights.
Could officers have obtained evidence through illegal means?
Say that an officer conducted an illegal search of your backpack prior to being taken into custody. In such a scenario, any evidence that was discovered inside of it could be ruled inadmissible. However, if your friend opened the backpack in front of another police officer, the evidence would have likely been collected in a legal manner. Furthermore, if authorities believe that they are acting in good faith when conducting a search, anything that they find may still be used against you at trial.
If you are convicted of a crime, you could be sent to jail, ordered to pay a fine or lose a professional license. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney to help you avoid the potential penalties associated with the charge that you are facing.