Article by: Lance Turnbow, Attorney
As a criminal defense attorney, Lance Turnbow finds himself in a lot of suppression hearings. He has found many of his clients are not sure what they are until they get into court. A suppression hearing is a hearing where your attorney is asking a Judge to rule on the admissibility of evidence in your case. As someone who handles a lot of drug and DWI cases, Lance see’s a majority of suppression hearings that involve traffic stops. Another common suppression issue is whether or not a search is backed up by probable cause. So how do they work? Usually the state calls the arresting officer to the stand and he or she testifies as to why they pulled you over or why they searched you or your vehicle. After the state’s prosecutor is finished, your attorney gets to cross examine the officer (and play the arrest video). After both sides have presented all of their witnesses, the attorneys get to make a final argument to the judge regarding how he should rule on the matter. These arguments are usually backed up by case law. Some judges make a ruling as soon as the hearing is over, some wait a couple weeks to rule.
If the judge rules that you should have never been stopped or searched, your case will almost always be dismissed. It is virtually impossible for the state to convict you when they do not have any admissible evidence. If the judge rules the stop or search was legal, the state can proceed with your case using all the evidence they have acquired.
Not all cases include good suppression issues, but a lot of them do. There are many people pulled over for questionable violations. A good attorney will explore all procedural arguments before advising you what to do with your case. If you think your rights have been violated contact Lance Turnbow, Attorney At Law, and he will do everything he can to fight for you!