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Fruit of the poisonous tree

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2022 | Criminal Defense

There’s a legal doctrine known as the fruit of the poisonous tree, and it’s very important to know how it works if you’re facing criminal charges. It could have a vast impact on what type of evidence can even be used in your case.

Essentially, the fruit of the poisonous tree refers to evidence that is obtained through illegal means. After the illegal event occurs, the evidence that is gathered as a result may not be permissible in court. Removing it from court can be requested on the grounds that the evidence should never have been recovered, no matter what it tells the court about your case.

How could this happen?

One example of how this could happen is simply if the police come to your house to conduct a search, but they haven’t yet gotten a warrant. They ask for your consent to enter the home, but you don’t give it to them. Convinced there’s evidence inside, they enter the house anyway, and they find the evidence that they were looking for.

However, since they didn’t have your consent or a warrant, and because an emergency wasn’t occurring at the time, then the police violated your rights and performed an illegal search. Even if the evidence against you would have led to a conviction, they may have to throw it out since it was illegally obtained.

What options do you have?

If you believe that this has happened, be sure you are well aware of all of your rights and your legal defense options. You can see how beneficial it could be to a serious case to remove evidence that the officers should never have found in the first place.