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What is a motion to suppress?

Many Tampa criminal defense attorneys are asked by their clients what exactly a motion to suppress entails.   A Motion to Suppress is a very important tool for Tampa criminal defense attorney, when working your case.  Further, a motion to suppress is filed under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure Rule 3.190, for your convenience, we have attached a copy of the Rules of Criminal Procedure.

First, a motion to suppress is filed suppress illegally obtained evidence.  The illegally obtained evidence can be either a tangible item, such as a firearm and/or drugs, or statements, like a confession or some other inculpatory statement.   Obviously in a case where possessing something is an element of the crime and the evidence is suppressed, the State Attorney’s Office obviously has major problems going forward with the case.

Secondly, a motion to suppress general will require an evidentiary hearing, unless the State Attorney’s Office cedes the point and agrees to reduce and/or drop the charges.   A judge will make the determination whether the search was legal or illegal.  These hearings will generally require testimony from law enforcement officers and lay witnesses concerning the circumstances and facts surrounding the arrest and/or search.    Often times, it may be somewhat necessary for the Accused to testify during these hearings, but it is important to note that anything the Accused says can be later used against them during their criminal trial.   It is critical that Defendants and their attorneys narrowly tailor their testimony to avoid getting into the facts of the underlying case as much as possible to prevent the State Attorney’s Office from essentially deposing their clients on the stand.

Lastly, a motion to suppress also has gives Defendants several significant strategy advantages.  It permits them to conduct a significant amount of discovery into the State’s case and their witnesses, by requiring them to testify under oath.   Many times, a strong motion to suppress will elicit a better plea offer from the State Attorney’s Office.

If you or someone you know has questions concerning the search and seizure of evidence and/or a motion to suppress in their criminal case, contact the Tampa criminal defense attorneys of Blumenuaer Hackworth for a free case consultation.   We have handled thousands of criminal cases across the Tampa Bay area from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk and Sarasota counties.  If you would like to contact one of our Tampa criminal defense attorneys immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner.   Thanks for checking out our Tampa criminal defense attorney blog and we look forward to hearing from you.