1538.5 (a)(1) A defendant may move for the return of property or to suppress as evidence any tangible or intangible thing obtained as a result of a search or seizure [if] The search or seizure without a warrant was unreasonable.
Much of the California Penal Code lays down rules for how evidence can be used in criminal cases like DUI. One of the most crucial sections for DUI defense is PC 1538.5, which governs motions to “suppress” evidence, or have it excluded from the court proceedings. Evidence that is suppressed cannot be used against you.
You can request that evidence be suppressed if it was not gathered in a legal way. This can include:
- Evidence gained from an illegal search
- Evidence gained after arresting you, if the officer did not have probable cause for the arrest
- Evidence from any part of the traffic stop, even before the arrest, if the officer did not have a valid reason to stop you in the first place
If any of these apply to you, your lawyer will file a motion with the judge. The motion will include all the evidence supporting your claim. If the judge agrees, they suppress the evidence in question. In some cases, if the evidence is crucial to the prosecution’s case, the prosecutor may drop the charges or the judge may simply dismiss the entire case.
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