Skip to Content
State and Federal Criminal Defense Representation

What Makes Evidence Inadmissible?


Are Your Future and Freedom at Risk?

If you are accused of a crime in Southern California, you must be defended and advised by an Orange County criminal defense attorney, and you must call that defense attorney as quickly as possible. Any criminal charge puts your future and your freedom at risk.

However, in some criminal cases, the state’s evidence isn’t good evidence. Your defense attorney may have some or all of the state’s evidence against you “tossed out” or ruled inadmissible, making it difficult or impossible for the prosecutor to win a criminal conviction against you.

To convict a defendant of a crime – in this state or any other state – a prosecutor must demonstrate to a jury that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. When you contact a criminal defense lawyer, that lawyer will promptly begin to investigate the charge against you.

If you’re accused of a crime, how will your case be handled by your Orange County criminal defense lawyer? Under what circumstances can the state’s evidence against you in a criminal case be challenged by your defense attorney and declared inadmissible by the court?

How Are Admissibility and Inadmissibility Defined?

Under the U.S. Constitution, evidence discovered or seized in a manner that violates your constitutional rights should be deemed inadmissible. Lawyers may argue over the admissibility of evidence, but judges have the final say about which evidence will be admitted at a trial.

Evidence may be considered inadmissible for a number of reasons. If police officers had no probable cause to search for or seize the evidence, it may be inadmissible. Third-party hearsay (in most cases) and coerced confessions are also inadmissible in criminal trials in California.

How is Probable Cause Defined?

A police officer is required to have “probable cause” before he or she may place a criminal suspect under arrest. This rule requires the officer to have a reasonable belief, based on probable cause, that a particular suspect has committed or is in the act of perpetrating a crime.

Should the law enforcement officer be unable to show or explain any probable cause to the court, any evidence discovered or seized on the basis of a suspect’s wrongful arrest would be deemed inadmissible at trial because that evidence was gathered by violating the suspect’s legal rights.

Additionally, in most situations, police officers must have a warrant to search your property or home. If they don’t, you don’t have to answer their questions or allow them to enter. Evidence uncovered and seized in an unwarranted search will almost always be inadmissible at trial.

When Are Confessions Inadmissible Evidence?

After hours of intense, exhausting interrogations, many people will confess to crimes they didn’t commit. Coerced confessions happen more often than you may think. Before questioning you, the police are required to tell you about your right to an attorney and your right to remain silent.

If the police do not read your Miranda rights to you before an interrogation, and if you confess to a crime during that interrogation without being informed of your rights, the court may determine that the police coerced your confession and may deem the confession inadmissible at trial.

Remember that anything you say to a police officer could be misinterpreted or twisted and used against you in court. If you are placed under arrest, you must insist (politely, of course) on having your attorney present for any questioning – no exceptions.

If you were deceived, threatened, or intimidated during a police interrogation, if you were not informed of your legal rights, or if you falsely confessed to a crime because the confession was coerced, that is the first thing you should tell your Orange County criminal defense attorney.

What is Hearsay Evidence?

Hearsay evidence is what testimony is called when a witness recounts a statement that he or she heard from a third party. In most circumstances, third-party hearsay statements are not admissible evidence in California criminal trials because:

  1.   Hearsay evidence is generally unreliable.
  2.  Hearsay statements are not made under oath.
  3.  The person who made the statement cannot be challenged under cross-examination.

However, there is a long list of narrow and technical legal exceptions to the hearsay rule. Your Orange County criminal defense lawyer will explain those exceptions to the hearsay rule if third-party hearsay evidence should become a factor in your own criminal case.

What Will a Defene Attorney Do for You?

The suppression of evidence is a common and often successful defense strategy. If key evidence against you cannot be presented at your trial, the state may have difficulty proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and a judge may even dismiss the case before a trial begins.

If your attorney contends that certain evidence is inadmissible, but a California judge admits that evidence and you are convicted because of that evidence, you may be allowed to appeal your conviction by arguing that the evidence admitted by the judge should have been suppressed.

Criminal cases are won and lost on the basis of the evidence. That makes it imperative, if you are charged with a crime in California, to be represented and advised by a criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with the rules of evidence and knows how to use those rules to your advantage.

Don’t even consider trying to act as your own attorney. California criminal law is far too complex, and too much will be at stake. Instead, make the call to a good criminal defense attorney.

Charged With a Crime? Call the Law Office of Diane C. Bass

For over a quarter of a century, Orange County defense attorney Diane C. Bass has advised and defended clients charged with crimes in Southern California’s state and federal courts. Diane C. Bass will personally evaluate your case without any cost or obligation.

If you are facing criminal charges, she knows how to win the justice you need. If the evidence against you cannot be suppressed, attorney Diane C. Bass may negotiate for a reasonable plea agreement or take the case to trial and fight aggressively for a not guilty verdict.

Attorney Diane C. Bass will protect your legal rights and bring your case to its best possible resolution. If you are charged with any misdemeanor or felony in Southern California, currently or in the future, contact the Law Office of Diane C. Bass immediately at (949) 990-4195.

The post What Makes Evidence Inadmissible? appeared first on Law Office of Diane C. Bass, A Professional Law Corporation.