Virtual and Phone consultations available in all cases.

Schedule Your Consultation Now

Avvo Rating
State Bar of California
Featured in huffpost Live
Best Attorney
Top Rated Lawyer
Greater Irvine Chamber
Iranian American Chamber of Commerce
2022 Winner Woman-Owned Small Business Award
Winner 2022 Woman-Owned Small Business Award
The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers
America's Top 50 Lawyers 2023

Understanding the Process of Suppressing Evidence in California

In the realm of criminal law, the suppression of evidence is a critical aspect that can significantly impact the outcome of a case. Evidence may be suppressed if it was obtained unlawfully or in violation of an individual's constitutional rights. In California, the process of suppressing evidence involves legal arguments, hearings, and court rulings. In this guide, we'll explore how evidence can be suppressed in California, the grounds for suppression, and what individuals should know about this important legal procedure.

Grounds for Suppressing Evidence:

Evidence may be suppressed in California if it was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution or Article I, Section 13 of the California Constitution, which protect against unreasonable searches and seizures. Common grounds for suppressing evidence include:

  1. Unlawful Search and Seizure: Evidence obtained as a result of an unlawful search or seizure by law enforcement may be suppressed. This includes evidence obtained without a valid search warrant or without probable cause to believe a crime has been committed.
  2. Violation of Miranda Rights: Evidence obtained in violation of a suspect's Miranda rights, such as statements made during custodial interrogation without being informed of the right to remain silent or the right to an attorney, may be suppressed.
  3. Coerced Confessions: Confessions or statements obtained through coercion, threats, or promises of leniency may be suppressed if they were involuntary.
  4. Violation of Privacy Rights: Evidence obtained through the unlawful invasion of privacy, such as wiretaps or electronic surveillance conducted without a warrant, may be suppressed.
Process of Suppressing Evidence:

The process of suppressing evidence in California typically involves the following steps:

  1. Filing a Motion to Suppress: Defense attorneys may file a motion to suppress evidence with the court, alleging that the evidence was obtained unlawfully or in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights. The motion must be supported by legal arguments and may include affidavits, witness testimony, or other evidence.
  2. Pre-Hearing Conference: Prior to the suppression hearing, the parties may participate in a pre-hearing conference to discuss procedural matters, exchange evidence, and attempt to resolve the issue without the need for a formal hearing.
  3. Suppression Hearing: If the parties are unable to resolve the issue, a suppression hearing is held before the judge. During the hearing, both sides have the opportunity to present evidence, call witnesses, and make legal arguments regarding the admissibility of the contested evidence.
  4. Court Ruling: After considering the evidence and legal arguments presented at the suppression hearing, the judge will issue a ruling on whether the evidence should be suppressed. If the judge determines that the evidence was obtained unlawfully, it will be excluded from trial.
Impact on the Case:

The suppression of evidence can have a significant impact on the outcome of a criminal case. Without key evidence, prosecutors may be unable to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, leading to dismissal of charges or acquittal at trial. Conversely, if evidence is not suppressed, it may be admissible at trial and used against the defendant to secure a conviction.

Importance of Legal Representation:

Navigating the process of suppressing evidence in California requires knowledge of complex legal principles and procedural rules. Defendants facing criminal charges should seek experienced legal representation to ensure their rights are protected and to effectively challenge the admissibility of evidence obtained unlawfully.


In conclusion, the suppression of evidence is a crucial legal procedure in California that protects individuals' constitutional rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. Evidence may be suppressed if it was obtained unlawfully or in violation of an individual's constitutional rights. The process of suppressing evidence involves filing a motion to suppress, participating in a suppression hearing, and obtaining a ruling from the court. Understanding how evidence can be suppressed and its impact on the case is essential for defendants facing criminal charges and their legal counsel.

Client Reviews
The Johnson Law Group handled a very important and delicate matter with professionalism and a caring manner. Attorneys were knowledgeable, in communications, and provided a top notch service to my need. I highly recommend the Johnson Law Group for your important legal issues. Hardy Jr.
Lauren Johnson-Norris was amazing. She explained everything in ways that were easily understood, & answered all of my question. She was respectful, but also open & honest. She started work on my case the first day we met & got results quickly. She demonstrated passion, concern, and showed true feeling for my situation. My expectations were greatly exceeded. I would say she has an incredible attention for detail, & has a real dedication to her work. Lauren Johnson-Norris would be my first recommendation to any of my family or friends similarly in need of legal assistance. Heather
I researched a lot of attorneys and had met with two attorneys before speaking with Ms. Johnson-Norris and retaining her. I was facing serious charges that could not be on my record, due to my job and was really scared. I felt hopeless & thought my life was ruined...until I found Ms. Johnson-Norris… A criminal defense client (drug case)
She is on point. She knows her field well. I have to give credit where credit is due, you deserve it Lauren Johnson-Norris… Anonymous, Victim of Domestic Violence
Lauren Johnson-Norris was my saving grace. I naively thought you were innocent until proven guilty. However, I soon discovered that CPS and family court does not see things that way… Mrs. G, a CPS client