Photo by cottonbro on

Evidence illegally obtained by the police should be excluded from trial.  To have such evidence excluded, the defendant must file

  1. a motion to suppress,
  2. a memorandum of law justifying the motion, and
  3. a signed affidavit detailing the facts relied upon in making the motion.

See Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure 13 and District/Municipal Court Rules of Criminal Procedure 6.

Typically, a defendant files his motion and supporting documents after all discovery is completed. Discovery usually is finalized at the pretrial conference and hearing.

If a motion to suppress is filed, a hearing date for the motion will be scheduled by the court, pursuant to Mass. R. Crim. P. 13(e) and Dist./Mun. Cts. R. Crim. P. 6(b)(2), and the prosecution will be given time to prepare and file an opposition to the motion.

If the motion to suppress evidence is allowed by the court, the prosecutor cannot use the evidence at trial.  This often gives a defendant greater leverage when working out a plea with the prosecutor or enhances the defendant’s likelihood of success at trial.