Criminal Evidentiary Issues That a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Faces

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In the American judicial system, evidence is the essence of how the defense and prosecution attempt to argue their case in criminal court. Both sides also seek to discredit and suppress the evidence submitted by the other, giving rise to several potential evidentiary issues that form an entire field of criminal law. A Los Angeles criminal defense attorney that is an expert in evidence law at the federal, state, and local level will be significantly better at building the strongest case for the client and weakening the opposing counsel’s case at the same time.

Because evidence is such a central issue to criminal law, the field of issues that can be discussed is nearly insurmountable. It takes law students multiple semesters to learn the basics of evidence law. However, there are a few key issues that people concerned for their own criminal defense should understand. The first is that one of the best ways for a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles to help the client’s case is by filing a successful motion to suppress evidence. If evidence is collected incorrectly or its collection was made possible by an illegal or unconstitutional act, and this can be proven, the judge can be convinced to suppress the evidence. That means it won’t enter into the case and the criminal jury will never see or hear it. Of course, many lawyers will try to get evidence suppressed even when the arguments for doing so are weak, and this is a viable strategy for the defense and sometimes for the prosecution. But as far as understanding what is important to remember and explain to your lawyer, the reasons why evidence should be inadmissible are more relevant.

Any police action that wasn’t based on due process or probable cause and any evidence collected during that action or any action that follows should be inadmissible. This relates to any number of things. For example, if a police officer pulls a person over and that driver can prove, such as with a police car’s onboard video camera, that there was absolutely no good reason why the officer should have been suspicious, that demonstrates the absence of probably cause. If the officer then sees drugs on the back seat of the car, searches the car based on that fact and discovers any other punishable crimes, all of that evidence should be inadmissible. This is an example of a lack of probable cause, as well as of the police officer failing to satisfy due process and unknowingly committing an illegal search and seizure.

There are a number of ways that due process, probable cause, and search and seizure laws can be violated. This is why, for the sake of taking advantage of common evidentiary issues in criminal trials, it is so important for the client to go over absolutely every detail of the events leading up to the arrest with counsel. Likewise, it is important to be sure that the Los Angeles criminal defense attorney goes to every length to investigate all the details from the police officers’ end to check for mistakes that could result in evidence being inadmissible.

Brianna Wilkins
Brianna Wilkins