How Can Motions To Suppress Evidence Be Used To Defend A Drug-Related Case?
If there is a question about how evidence was obtained, a motion to suppress the evidence will be incredibly important and valuable in the defense. If a judge agrees that the evidence was illegally obtained, then that judge could choose to keep that evidence out of trial, meaning that a jury would not learn of it.
If the prosecutor can’t prove that there was a controlled substance because it was illegally obtained by law enforcement, then the prosecutor won’t have a case, which would result in a case dismissal. Motions to suppress evidence are incredibly valuable as a piece of the strategy in fighting drug-related cases.
When Can A Defense Attorney File A Motion To Suppress Evidence Found During A Traffic Stop?
A defense attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence at or before the omnibus hearing in a case. Once the omnibus hearing has passed, it becomes much more difficult to challenge how evidence was obtained—particularly if the prosecutor had disclosed that evidence in a timely manner and it was known to the defense. Once you get into trial, it is no longer appropriate to challenge how law enforcement collected evidence.
Can It Help My Defense If I Was Charged With Selling To A Civilian Rather Than An Undercover Agent?
It doesn’t make a difference whether you were charged with selling to a civilian, undercover agent, or confidential informant; what matters is the action of selling. If the government was somehow involved, either through an undercover agent or confidential informant, and if they put pressure on you to sell drugs, which was not something you had already been doing, then an entrapment defense could be used.
In asserting this defense, the defense attorney would argue that the government induced a person to commit a more serious crime than they would otherwise be inclined to participate in. The ability to use this defense is very fact-specific and would need to be analyzed by an attorney.
How Can Chain Of Custody In A Drug-Related Case Help The Defense?
Chain of custody is important because the government has to prove that you were in possession of a controlled substance, and in order to prove that, they need to prove that whatever substance they test and confirm to be a controlled substance is indeed the same substance that you were in possession of.
For example, if there is suspected methamphetamine found during the search of a vehicle, it’s important that that piece of evidence is marked and that there is a written record of who had contact with it to ensure that it wasn’t swapped out or altered in any way prior to being tested by the lab officials.
Is There A Way To Mitigate A Possession With Intent To Distribute Charge In A Drug-Related Case?
If your case carries a mandatory minimum sentence, then the judge will likely be required to apply it. If your case does not carry a mandatory minimum sentence, then it is possible to put forth information at sentencing that would mitigate or reduce the sentence. This could include information about your history of treatments, mental health or chemical dependency issues, medical issues, and general personal history.
This will allow the judge to develop a clearer picture of who you are as a person, rather than just reading the list of charges. It’s important to remind judges that on any given day, every single person is better than their worst decision. This is something that judges should consider so that they can make sentencing decisions based on the whole person, rather than on one single action taken by that person.
Should A Defendant Cooperate Or Work With Authorities To Get A Lesser Sentence?
Whether someone should work with law enforcement in order to try to reduce their sentence is a very delicate question, the answer to which depends greatly on the circumstances. For most low-level possession charges, there is likely no benefit to working with the government. That being said, if you are facing significant first-degree charges or a federal indictment for a conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, then there may be a much greater benefit to working with and providing information to the government.
This is absolutely something that needs to be discussed at length with your attorney before any decisions are made. In the event that you choose to cooperate with the government, you need to ensure that you will be protected, as well as receive a benefit in return for your cooperation and your willingness to put yourself at risk.
For more information on Motions To Suppress Evidence In Minnesota, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (651)-964-4512 today.
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