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Can a Judge’s Decision on a Motion to Suppress Ever be Challenged?


Yes, a judge’s decision on a motion to suppress can be challenged. If the decision made by the judge is to suppress evidence and it’s likely going to result in the dismissal of a case, a prosecutor can appeal that denial right away. The defense, however, cannot. We have to wait until there is a verdict after a trial to be able to appeal the denial of a suppression motion.

What is the Process of Filing a Motion to Suppress Evidence?

In filing a motion to suppress, the attorney will review all of the police reports and evidence that was disclosed by the prosecution looking for those constitutional violations in those two process violations. If there are any, the attorney should talk with the client about potential strategy as to whether they want the evidence suppressed. Sometimes the evidence that could be suppressed is actually helpful to the defense and you may not want to fight that battle and actually have that evidence available for the defense to speak about. If the attorney and the client decide to move forward with the suppression hearing, then the attorney needs to file a motion and state the basis and what particular evidence they want to have suppressed.

After that, the judge will schedule a hearing and there could be witness testimony. There could also be oral arguments about the law or written memorandums to the judge arguing the law and how it applies to this particular case. After the hearings, the judge generally has 30 days to make a decision as to whether they are going to suppress the evidence or deny the motion.

Is There Any Evidence That Absolutely Cannot be Suppressed?

No, any evidence that was illegally obtained can be suppressed.

How Can a Motion to Suppress Evidence Impact my Criminal Case?

A motion to suppress evidence can help in several different ways. First, a motion to suppress, depending on how the prosecutor tries to fight against it, can result in witness testimony which can always give more information about the case or about what the investigators were thinking, feeling, and seeing that wasn’t necessarily included in their initial investigatory report. A motion to suppress can also help with negotiations because it can help a prosecutor to see the weaknesses of their case. Of course, if a judge agrees with the defense and suppresses evidence, it could lead to a dismissal of charges, which is the best outcome for the case.

How Long Does it Generally Take to Get a Decision on a Motion to Suppress Evidence?

In general, most judges will take the full 30 days after the hearing or after the written submissions to give a decision on a motion to suppress evidence. Depending on if the attorneys are filing legal memorandums, it could take three months because the attorneys will need time to write their legal positions in a brief for the judge.

Will The Jury Ever be Aware That Some Evidence Was Suppressed?

No, the jury will not be aware that some evidence was suppressed. If the evidence is suppressed, that means that’s not available to be spoken about by either party.

Additional Information on Motion to Suppress Evidence in Minnesota

It’s important to have an attorney who is aware of all of the issues and the current state of the law so that you can make sure that you are fighting your case in every possible angle. Even if it doesn’t result in suppression, it will end up with the attorney learning more about the case from the prosecutor or from an investigative agent. It will ultimately be at your benefit for your attorney to have that information and be as knowledgeable about the case as possible.

For more information on Challenging Judge’s Decision on a Motion, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (800) 684-9740 today.

Jennifer Congdon, Esq.

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