A single piece of evidence could mean the difference between walking away free and spending a few years behind bars. However, the laws in Alabama don’t allow the police to seize evidence without due process. If the police violated your rights when they collected evidence or searched your belongings, their entire case might be unconstitutional.
What is the exclusionary rule?
Under criminal law, the police can’t search your belongings without having a search warrant or probable cause. If they break this law, the evidence that they find can’t be used in court. This includes evidence that could have a massive impact on the outcome of the case.
During your trial, your criminal defense attorney might make the case that the police violated your rights. If the judge agrees, they might throw out the evidence that the prosecution found. This could affect virtually every aspect of the case, including confessions that you might have made. Getting evidence thrown out doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll win your case, but it could weaken the prosecution’s case against you.
If this rule didn’t exist, the police would have no reason to respect your rights when they gather evidence. This rule aims to prevent the police from overstepping their boundaries and collecting evidence through illegal means.
How can you defend yourself against criminal charges?
An attorney might approach your case from a variety of different angles. If they suspect that the police violated your rights, they might use this information to get the judge to throw out the evidence.
Depending on the situation, your attorney might also point out that this is your first offense, claim that the prosecution has insufficient evidence or defend you against false accusations. Figuring out how to tackle your case can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Your attorney may help give you a fighting chance in court even if you feel like you’re dealing with an open-and-shut case.