1538.5 Motion in Anaheim

In Anaheim, as in the rest of the state of California, a ‘1538.5 motion’ or a ‘motion to suppress’ is a tool that a defendant can use to prevent evidence against them from being used in court.

According to Penal Code (PC) 1538.5, evidence acquired through an illegal search and seizure should be thrown out of court if an appeal to do so is made. Additionally, any property acquired through the illegal seizure should also be returned after an appeal to the court is granted.

How to get a motion to suppress

A 1538.5 motion is a part of the California pretrial process and is therefore usually filed and determined before a trial actually begins. The procedure for having a motion to suppress heard before the court depends on whether the charge is a felony or a misdemeanor.

For a misdemeanor charge,

  1. A criminal defense attorney files the 1538.5 motion at the court arraignment. That is, at the first hearing of the court case (when the accused enters a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest). The only exception is if the illegally acquired evidence comes to light after the trial has begun.
  2. Upon filing the 1538.5 motion, the court then schedules a special pretrial hearing called a ‘suppression’ hearing, when the arguments for the motion to suppress are made.

If a felony charge is involved an attorney has 2 choices for filing a 1538.5 motion,

  1. They could argue the motion at a preliminary hearing or
  2. They could wait and have the 1538.5 motion heard at a special suppression hearing devoted to this specific issue

It is important to note that having a capable and experienced attorney who is conversant with the California and Anaheim courts can prove to be a huge asset.

Contact the Johnson Criminal Law Group if you or your property has been illegally search and seized.

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