Motion To Suppress

Criminal defense attorneys sitting with client

The Benjamin Law Firm, a leading criminal defense law firm located in El Paso, Texas, is dedicated to protecting your rights and providing exceptional legal representation. In a criminal defense case, a Motion to Suppress can be a game-changer. It serves as a powerful tool to challenge evidence that may have been obtained unlawfully or in violation of your constitutional rights. This critical legal maneuver can make the difference between acquittal and conviction. 

At The Benjamin Law Firm, we understand the significance of a Motion to Suppress and are here to guide you through the process. When it comes to defending your freedom and protecting your future, experience and expertise matter. Call us today to get started. 

What is a Motion to Suppress?

A Motion to Suppress is a formal request made by the defense in a criminal case to exclude specific evidence from being used against the defendant during trial. Its primary purpose is to protect the rights of the accused by ensuring that evidence obtained unlawfully, in violation of the Constitution, law, regulations, or through coercion, is not admitted in court.

Can A Defendant File A Motion To Dismiss A Criminal Case In Texas?

Yes, a defendant in Texas can file a motion to dismiss a criminal case. There are several grounds for such a motion, including lack of jurisdiction, insufficient evidence, or a violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights. However, the success of such a motion depends heavily on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. If you’re facing criminal charges in El Paso, it is strongly recommended to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your options and potential defenses.

How It Relates to Protecting Client Rights

A Motion to Suppress is an essential tool in upholding the Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights of individuals facing criminal charges. It is crucial in situations where evidence has been acquired through illegal searches and seizures, lack of probable cause, coerced confessions, Miranda rights violations, or other constitutional breaches.

Grounds for Filing a Motion to Suppress

Common situations where a Motion to Suppress may be necessary include:

  • Violation of Fourth Amendment rights – When law enforcement conducts searches or seizures without a valid warrant or probable cause.
  • Unlawful searches and seizures – When evidence is obtained in violation of a person’s Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.
  • Lack of probable cause or reasonable suspicion – When law enforcement lacks sufficient grounds to believe a crime has been committed.
  • Violation of Fifth Amendment rights – When confessions or statements are coerced in violation of a person’s right to remain silent.
  • Coerced confessions or statements – When individuals are pressured or manipulated into admitting guilt.
  • Miranda rights violations – When law enforcement fails to advise suspects of their rights properly.
  • Evidence obtained without a warrant – When crucial evidence is gathered without the necessary legal authorization.
  • Chain of custody issues – When the handling of evidence is compromised, potentially leading to contamination or tampering.

Challenging evidence on these grounds can be complex, but Attorney Brock Benjamin has a proven track record of successfully advocating for clients facing these issues.

The Process of Filing a Motion to Suppress in Texas

When you choose The Benjamin Law Firm, you’re partnering with a team that takes a comprehensive approach to building your defense. Our journey begins with a thorough consultation, where we assess the details of your case and identify potential grounds for a Motion to Suppress. We will leave no stone unturned in collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and scrutinizing law enforcement procedures to strengthen your defense. 

Attorney Brock Benjamin meticulously drafts the Motion to Suppress, citing relevant case law and legal arguments to support your case. Lastly, we represent you during court hearings, presenting compelling arguments to persuade the judge to exclude the contested evidence.

Benefits of a Successful Motion to Suppress

A successful Motion to Suppress can lead to several advantages:

  • Potential exclusion of key evidence – Without critical evidence, the prosecution’s case may crumble.
  • Improved negotiation leverage – With weakened evidence, we can negotiate more favorable plea deals on your behalf.
  • Increased chances of dismissal or reduced charges – In some cases, successful suppression can result in the dismissal of charges or reduced sentencing.

Why Choose The Benjamin Law Firm?

The Benjamin Law Firm stands apart from the field in criminal defense. Brock Benjamin is board-certified in Criminal Defense by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, highlighting his expertise and commitment to excellence. Once you become our client, we will provide comprehensive legal support tailored to your specific needs.

We understand the gravity of the charges you may be facing, and we are dedicated to upholding the principles of justice and fairness throughout your case. Our firm has a long history of achieving successful Motion to Suppress cases and favorable verdicts. We have the experience, knowledge, and determination to pursue the best possible outcome for your unique situation.

We recognize that each case is unique, and take a personalized approach to crafting the most effective defense strategy. Whether you’re facing charges related to drug offenses, theft, assault, fraud, or any other criminal matter, we have the skills and resources to fight for your rights.

When you choose our firm, you’re choosing a legal team that is passionate about protecting your rights. We have a proven track record of success, and our commitment to excellence sets us apart. Trust The Benjamin Law Firm to provide the exceptional legal representation you deserve.

Consult The Benjamin Law Firm Today

Your future is too important to leave to chance. If you’re facing criminal charges and believe that evidence may have been obtained unlawfully, contact The Benjamin Law Firm today. Schedule a consultation and let us fight for your rights and your freedom. Don’t wait – your defense begins now. Call us today, and take the first step toward a brighter future.

Case Study: Successful Motion to Suppress Evidence

On June 3, 2019, our client, Randall Wayne Melton, found himself at the center of a legal battle that ultimately hinged on the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Melton, the defendant in this case, was arrested in Hope, New Mexico, by Eddy County Sheriff Deputies without a warrant. The arrest followed the deputies’ use of Melton’s cell phone as a GPS tracking device to locate and detain him. This entire interaction was captured on the lapel videos of the officers.

The Backdrop

The circumstances leading up to Melton’s arrest were initiated by a call from Curtis Cherry, Tyson Terrell’s stepfather, to the Eddy County Sheriff’s office. Cherry had received a call from Terrell, during which a second male voice was heard. Cherry expressed uncertainty about the identity of this second male and whether they were a fugitive. In response, Lieutenant Joshua Baker initiated a GPS tracking operation on Terrell’s phone.

The tracking operation led the deputies from Carrizozo, New Mexico, through several locations, eventually culminating in a traffic stop in Hope, New Mexico, at approximately 01:45 on June 3, 2019. During this stop, Melton was detained without an arrest warrant, a detention that continued even after Tyson Terrell, (the wanted subject) was removed from the vehicle and arrested. The video evidence shows that Melton was advised of his rights and then informed that his vehicle would be searched “just because he [Terrell] is with him,” leading to his subsequent handcuffing.

Argument

Melton argued that the tracking and ultimate detention violated his Fourth Amendment rights in his motion to suppress. He contended that the deputies had tracked him for over two hours and detained him for 89 minutes without a warrant and any articulable reason beyond his association with Tyson Terrell.

a. Extended Traffic Stop Detention

Melton’s motion invoked the precedent set by Rodriguez v. United States, 575 U.S. 348 (2015), which established that the duration of a traffic stop should be determined by the seizure’s “mission” and safety concerns. While law enforcement can detain individuals pending an inquiry into a traffic violation, Melton argued that the continued detention, arrest, and transportation were based solely on guilt by association, with no articulable reasonable suspicion.

Melton further argued that the detention exceeded the time needed to handle the initial reason for the stop, violating the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable seizures, as outlined in Rodriguez.

b. Warrantless Tracking of Melton’s Cell Phone

Melton also challenged the warrantless tracking of his cell phone by Lieutenant Joshua Baker. He argued that his cell phone’s GPS data was obtained without a warrant and proper justification, despite Baker’s access to information that could have verified Melton’s innocence.

Citing Carpenter v. United States, 138 S. Ct. 2206 (2018), Melton asserted that individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy in location data, including real-time GPS tracking. He argued that such tracking, without a warrant and a recognized exception, violated his Fourth Amendment rights.

Conclusion

Randall Melton’s successful motion to suppress evidence highlighted the government’s violation of his Fourth Amendment rights during tracking, detention, and arrest. The case raised significant concerns about the warrantless tracking of individuals through their cell phones and the arbitrary extension of detentions based on guilt by association rather than articulable reasonable suspicion.

Ultimately, the court recognized that these actions violated Melton’s Fourth Amendment rights, and the evidence obtained as a result of the illegal tracking and detention was suppressed. The suppression of the evidence led to the case’s dismissal by the United States Attorney’s Office. 

This case is a critical reminder of the importance of safeguarding constitutional protections in the digital age and ensuring that law enforcement adheres to established legal standards when conducting investigations.