Newsletters – Criminal Law
Scientific Evidence Scientific evidence constitutes evidence that has been developed through some sort of scientific method. Usually scientific evidence is information that has been published in periodicals and tested by scientists or professionals. This scientific information is considered to be valid within the scientific community. Examples of scientific evidence include: SEARCH WARRANTS The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures. It provides that warrants for an arrest or for a search shall be based on probable cause, shall be supported by an oath or an affirmation, and shall describe with particularity the placed to be searched or the person or thing to be seized. PROBATION Probation is a type of sentencing by which a trial court suspends the imposition of imprisonment and releases a defendant into the community based upon certain conditions. Probation is an alternative to imprisonment. Probation is similar to parole because it grants freedom from incarceration. Motions to Suppress Evidence A defendant may file a motion to suppress evidence during the pretrial phase of her trial. A motion to suppress is filed when the defendant is seeking to exclude evidence on the basis that it was illegally obtained. The evidence may have been obtained in violation of the defendant's right against unreasonable searches and seizures as provided under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The evidence may have been tainted by other illegally obtained evidence, thereby supporting the defendant's assertion that it should be excluded. ASSIMILATIVE CRIMES ACT When a criminal offense has been committed on land or buildings that have been reserved or acquired by the federal government, and the offense is not a federal offense, state law will apply to the offense under the Assimilative Crimes Act. When the federal government prosecutes the offense, it is not enforcing state law. It is enforcing the federal law by incorporating or by applying the state law to the offense.