Updated: Nov 4, 2021
What is motion to suppress?
A motion to suppress requests the court to exclude evidence that was unlawfully obtained by police. Evidence is unlawfully obtained if it was obtained in violation of your constitutional right.
What is your constitutional right?
The 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution—and Article 1 Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution—protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures by police. In general, police must obtain a warrant based on probable cause before they can search you or your home. When police conduct a warrantless search in violation of your federal and state constitutional right, evidence seized during that illegal search can be suppressed, or excluded. Suppressed evidence cannot be used against you during trial.
When is a warrantless search is allowed?
Police generally need a warrant to conduct searches; however, there are a few exceptions in which police may conduct searches without a warrant. Here are some of the common exceptions:
Terry Stop (stop and frisk) – Police can stop and frisk you for weapons if they have reasonable suspicion that you are armed and dangerous. Any object that is immediately incriminating during the frisk can be seized by police as evidence.
Search incident to arrest – If police have probable cause to believe that you have committed a crime, they can arrest you and conduct a search on you and your surrounding area without a warrant.
Consent – Police can conduct a warrantless search if you give consent.
Exigent circumstances – Police can enter into your property to conduct a warrantless search or seizure in cases of emergency, such as when someone within the property needs immediate help, when a suspect runs into the property during pursuit, or in order to prevent destruction of evidence.
Because there are several exceptions to the warrant requirement afforded by the federal and state constitution, it can be difficult to ascertain whether your rights have been violated. If you think you might be a victim of an illegal search, contact Brinkley Law at any time at 317-643-1813.