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Suppression of evidence important in success of criminal defense

In any criminal trial an effective defense attorney will attempt to suppress any evidence that may have been obtained illegally by police due to an improperly issued search warrant. Often the suppression of this evidence will leave a gap in the prosecution’s chain of evidence needed for a conviction. Once the court rules to suppress the evidence, the criminal defense attorney may be in a better position for a plea negotiation to reduce, or even dismiss, a criminal charge against a defendant.

Over the last year the evidence in the murder case against former NFL player Aaron Hernandez seems to have increased. But his attorneys have recently succeeded in suppressing evidence of .45-caliber ammunition found in Hernandez’s home and in his vehicle. Prosecutors have speculated that the murder weapon was a .45-caliber pistol.

The defense attorneys argue that there are thousands of .45-caliber pistols, and just because police found ammunition for that type of weapon does not sufficiently connect the ammunition to the specific alleged murder weapon.

The defense has also argued that the warrant for the ammunition was improperly issued because the search that led to its discovery was based on evidence from another improperly issued warrant.

The charges against Hernandez have garnered massive publicity and any success that his criminal defense team has in suppressing evidence against him can potentially weaken the case of the prosecution.

One objective of an effective criminal defense attorney is to remove as many links as possible in the chain of evidence against the defendant, so as to interrupt any logical flow in the prosecution’s case. In order to do this successfully, the sooner the defense attorney becomes involved in the case the better; before insurmountable evidence is admitted. For this reason it is a good idea for anyone charged with a crime in Kentucky or Tennessee to consult a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after arrest.

Source:, “Prosecutors: Lawyers can block Hernandez evidence,” Denise Lavoie, Sept. 25, 2014

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