This is the next post in our series dealing with Little Rock, Arkansas cases which arise from the stop of a car. Our last article discussed when police may conduct an “inventory search” of an impounded vehicle. While law enforcement’s authority to conduct such searches is broad, it is not absolute. If you or a loved one have been arrested then it is vital that you contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. In this article we will discuss another important topic – the process for challenging the admission of evidence which was recovered by law enforcement. If you need assistance then contact our office today to speak with an attorney.
The process of challenging the admission of evidence begins by filing a Motion with the Court. This is a formal document in which your lawyer will state the facts of the case, why they believe that the law was violated, and citations to cases which support your position. The prosecution will file an Opposing Brief and your counsel will have the opportunity to file a Reply. An evidentiary hearing will be held at which the arresting officers will testify. Your counsel will have the opportunity to examine the officers and to admit evidence which shows that your rights were violated. The Court will typically issue its ruling once the hearing is completed. Depending on the complexities of the case, the Court may issue an order at a later date.
It is important that your attorney fully investigate the matter before an evidentiary hearing. There may be a good deal of evidence which can show whether your rights were violated. This can include any “dash cam” footage from the police car (which your counsel can subpoena), footage from traffic signal cameras, statements from any witnesses, as well as footage which witnesses may have shot with their cell phones. Having such evidence admitted into the Court’s proceedings will require that your counsel be familiar with the rules of procedure and that they know how to handle such matters.
Depending on the facts of the case, exclusion of the incriminating evidence can lead to a dismissal of the charges. If, for example, the only charge is the possession of a controlled substance, and the drugs are excluded, then the prosecution would be without the evidence they need to prove the sole charge. Under such a scenario the case would be dismissed. Again, these types of matters can be complex.
Our attorneys have over-twenty five years of combined legal experience and we are ready to assist you. Contact our Little Rock search and seizure lawyers today. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of the state.