Despite that the fact that Colorado leads the charge in decriminalizing certain drugs, those who run afoul of the law can still face serious consequences. Upon conviction for certain drug charges, an individual can be hit with extensive prison time, financially ruinous fines, and a mar on their criminal record that can haunt them for the rest of their lives. Even minor possession offenses can have a profound impact, which is why those who are accused of a drug offense need to know how to defend themselves.
One common way to do so is to try to suppress the evidence being relied upon by the prosecution. This may be a very real possibility if incriminating evidence was gathered after an illegal traffic stop. Officers need reasonable suspicion of criminal activity in order to initiate a stop, which can be something as minor as an infraction such as failing to use a blinker when changing lanes. If there is no reasonable suspicion, then the stop is illegal. This means that any search of the vehicle is also illegal and any evidence gathered from you or the vehicle is illegally obtained. This evidence can thus be suppressed, meaning that it can’t be used against you in a court of law.
This issue also comes up when a search is illegally conducted. In order to conduct a search of a person or a vehicle, an officer usually needs consent, probable cause that incriminating evidence in on the person or in the vehicle, or a belief that the search is necessary for the officer’s protection. A search can also occur after an arrest. If none of these situations exist, though, then the search is probably illegal and the evidence subsequently gathered is fruit of the poisonous tree, meaning that it is spoiled for purposes of use at trial.
Evidence suppression is just one of the many strategies that can be utilized to develop a strong criminal defense strategy. However, there is no one size fits all approach to an effective criminal defense. Instead, you’ll need a custom-tailored approach that fits your unique circumstances and your wishes. Therefore, it is often best to discuss these matters with a criminal defense attorney you trust so that you can make fully informed decisions that support your best interest.