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What is a Motion to Suppress Filed by Your Waldorf, MD Criminal Defense Team?

If you have been charged with a crime in Charles County, MD or in another part of Southern Maryland, you will need top-tier Maryland criminal defense lawyers like the ones here at the Law Office of Robert Castro. Call us at (301)705-5137. One of the possible tasks that we can undertake in your criminal defense is to file what is called a “Motion To Suppress Evidence.” That is a written request/demand directed at your Maryland criminal court judge to suppress certain evidence.

Under Maryland criminal rules and procedures and under the U.S. Constitution, those who are accused of crimes have certain rights. If those rights are violated, then, depending on the circumstances, evidence that has been collected by law enforcement is required to be “thrown out” — that is, not used at trial. This rule applies most often when Fourth Amendment rights are violated, but it can come into play in other contexts too. The mechanism for doing this is, as noted, the filing of a Motion to Suppress Evidence and then appearing before the Charles County, MD criminal court judge for a hearing on the matter. The hearing almost always involves testimony — under oath from the relevant law enforcement officials.

The reason that evidence can be “thrown out” is the legal doctrine known as the exclusionary rule. This rule has long been accepted under Maryland criminal law. In basic terms, the exclusionary rule provides that, if law enforcement collect evidence in violation of the constitutional rights of the person arrested or accused of a crime, then the judge must “throw out” the evidence and prevent its use at trial. The purpose of the exclusionary rule is to deter lawlessness and violations of constitutional rights by law enforcement officers.

Let’s look at an example. Let’s assume the evidence in question is a plastic bag of illegal drugs. Let’s further assume that police officers in Prince George’s County stopped a vehicle on the road in Waldorf, Maryland without justification and then searched the vehicle finding the plastic bag of drugs. Because the police stopped the vehicle without justification, the stop of the vehicle was done in violation of the driver’s constitutional rights. As such, the “stop” was unconstitutional. Because the stop was unconstitutional, that also makes the “search” of the vehicle unconstitutional AND also the “seizure” of the evidence — the plastic bag of drugs. Under the exclusionary rule, the plastic bag of drugs will be “thrown out” and cannot be introduced at trial. As one can imagine, without being able to introduce the bag of drugs at trial, the government prosecutors will not be able to prove to a jury that a crime was committed.

Questions regarding the exclusionary rule are questions decided by the Maryland criminal court judge. This is why it is important to have your criminal defense lawyers in Waldorf, MD file a Motion To Suppress Evidence as soon as possible after your arrest. If the judge agrees to “throw out” the evidence, often that means the charges are dismissed (because the prosecutors have no evidence). Even if the charges are not dismissed, having evidence excluded can lead to a plea bargain deal where the prosecutors agree to reduce the severity of the charges.

Contact Waldorf, Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Robert Castro Today

This article has been provided by the Law Office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions contact our office to speak to an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer at (301)705-5137. We are Waldorf, MD Criminal Defense lawyers. Our address is: 2670 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD 20601.