When a person faces criminal charges, the state or government must present evidence to obtain a conviction. One powerful tool used to counter evidence are suppression hearings. These special types of hearings are usually conducted before criminal trials start and are used to exclude or suppress specific evidence from being used in the upcoming trial. The most common and effective reason to file a motion to exclude evidence is when the evidence was obtained or collected through the violation of a defendant’s constitutional rights. Here at Michael B. Cohen, P.A. we can take a deeper look around the circumstances of your charges to provide the best defense.
Process of Suppression Hearings
Once a defense team files a motion to suppress, a date and time will be set for a suppression hearing. Here, a “mini-trial” will commence before a judge with no jury. Present will be the attorneys for both the defense and prosecution along with the defendant and any witnesses. In simplest terms, the prosecution will try to prove evidence was obtained with no violation of the defendant’s rights while the defense team will prove there was. The judge then may ask questions after both parties have presented their evidence. After reviewing the evidence, the judge will issue a ruling to either exclude the evidence or not.
How A Suppression Hearing Can Help My Case
When the judge rules to suppress the evidence at issue, it cannot be used in the trial. In many cases, this pre-trial hearing can mean victory for a defendant especially if this evidence is crucial to a prosecution’s case. Suppression hearings prove to be a highly effective tool in winning your case.
Suppression Hearings In The State of Florida
In federal court, a suppression hearing is treated similarly. These hearings are initiated under a motion to dismiss filed under Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. In state cases these motions are controlled by Fla. R. Crim P. 3.199 which states:
“All defenses available to a defendant by plea, other than not guilty, shall be made only by motion to dismiss the indictment or information, whether the same shall relate to matters of form, substance, former acquittal, former jeopardy, or any other defense.”
Florida also provides an extra means to dismiss a case because of the statutes of limitations running under Section 775.15(2), Florida Statutes. This Statute requires prosecutions to commence within a certain time frame after a crime has been committed as listed below:
First-degree murder – within four years.
Any other felony – within three years.
Misdemeanor of the first degree – within two years.
Misdemeanor of the second degree – within one year
Understanding these Statutes can be useful to dismiss a case collected if the charge has not been filed within these time frames.
We Can Help
Even if you have been convicted of the crime, post-conviction appeals can even be examined from a suppression hearing standpoint. If a judge makes a mistake or error during these hearings, then this can lead to a reversal or even a new trial if this issue is appealed. Hiring a proven effective lawyer who understands this imperative tool is crucial for your defense. We can provide you with all the information and guidance you’ll need to assess where we can implement a suppressed hearing or a post-conviction appeal. Call us today at 954.928.0059