A motion to suppress evidence is a formal request that a judge prevent the state from admitting certain evidence. It’s a formal request to exclude evidence.
Typically, suppression of evidence is warranted after a constitutional violation. A judge almost always has to conduct a hearing with witnesses when deciding whether to grant this motion.
Search & Seizure Violation
The most common reason to file a motion to suppress evidence is after an improper search or seizure.
An allegation of a violation of the 4th amendment starts the procedure.
725 ILCS 5/114-12. Motion to Suppress Evidence Illegally Seized.
In Illinois the Code of criminal procedure says,
On a motion to suppress evidence, the defendant has the burden of proving that the search and seizure were unlawful. 725 ILCS 5/114-12(b); People v. Cregan, 2014 IL 113600, ¶ 23.
The Motion Must Be In Writing
See 725 ILCS 5/114-12(b) and (c) for more information on the motion and the hearing that must be conducted by the judge.
At a minimum,
What Should Be In A Motion To Suppress?
Motions to suppress filed pursuant to section 114-12 of the Code must clearly set forth at a minimum the following:
(1) The title of the motion should be “Motion to Suppress Evidence”. That title will put both the State and the court on notice of the motion’s purpose.
(2) The motion to suppress must clearly identify the evidence sought to be suppressed. Although this requirement is not set forth explicitly in section 114-12 of the Code, its presence is clearly evident. Before conducting a hearing on the motion, the parties and the court must know what evidence is at issue. Both parties and the court need to know the evidence that is the focus of the motion if for no other reason than to determine the relevancy of the evidence offered at the hearing on the motion.
(3) The motion must state facts showing wherein the search and seizure were unlawful.
See 725 ILCS 5/114-12(b).
Motion To Suppress Evidence Example
Download a sample motion to suppress evidence.
Other than the points listed above, there is no magic formula for a motion to suppress evidence.
Like most criminal law motions it should track the language in the statute that authorizes the motion and should at a minimum include the requirements listed above.
To download a sample motion to suppress evidence consistent with the requirements listed above hit the link below.
- Motion to Quash In A Criminal Case
- What Is The Good Faith Exception And The Exclusionary Rule?
- People v. Ramirez, 2013 IL App (4th) 121153 (October). Episode 666 (Duration 14:36) (Why You Need To Stop Filing Motions To Quash An Arrest)
- People v. Hansen, 2012 IL App (4th) 110603 (April).
- People v. Dunmire, 2019 IL App (4th) 190316 (December). Episode 717 (Duration 12:41) (counsel states the court’s comment on filing a “Motion to Quash Arrest’ is well-taken and it will not happen again”)
- People v. Atchison, 2019 IL App (3d) 180183 (July).
- People v. Motzko, 2019 IL App (3d) 180184 (August). Episode 665 (Duration 13:17) (What Is The Practical Effect Of Winning A Motion To Quash An Arrest?)