The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 1 §12 holds that “The right of the People to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

New York Criminal Procedure Law Article 710 sets forth the statutory procedure for making application to a court to suppress evidence. This section of law sets forth the various forms of evidence that can be suppressed including statements, identification, chemical tests, video, records and other such evidence. The section of law also sets forth the rules for making a suppression motion including when to make it, where to make it, and the procedure for doing so.

Determining whether a search or seizure is reasonable requires looking at the circumstances surrounding the encounter between a client and law enforcement. The main issue for review is whether probable cause existed for the search. It should be noted that the probable cause standard relates to searches, however lower standards may be applicable for seizing an individual, questioning an individual, or stopping a vehicle.

Because the facts and circumstances of each case are different, a majority of the law addressing search and seizure issues is decisional law. In order to be effective in making a suppression motion, it is essential to obtain cases with similar fact patterns that resulted in the suppression of evidence. It is also important to find cases that are controlling within a particular jurisdiction. Cases that are not on point or are from another jurisdiction can be used persuasively but are not controlling in most instances.

There are certain exceptions to an improper search such as when a defendant lacks standing to challenge the search, attenuation, or certain policy considerations. If one of these exceptions is applied then the evidence is not suppressed.

In most cases a successful motion to suppress evidence will result in the entire case being dismissed. For example if someone is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and the drugs are suppressed following a suppression motion and/or hearing, then the district attorney is unable to prove their case. The charges are subsequently dismissed.

The ability to analyze a case for potential search and seizure issues takes years of practice and experience to become proficient in this area of law. Attorney Jason C. Henskee has filed numerous suppression motions and conducted suppression hearings for years. He has been successful in having prior cases dismissed after a suppression hearing. Prior results do not guarantee the outcome of current cases.

If you have been charged with a drug offense, DWI, larceny, or other crime where criminal evidence was seized, contact attorney Jason C. Henskee for a free analysis of your case. You may have a defense against your criminal charges.

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