How often do police present gather sketchy evidence?

Asked about 1 year ago - Portland, OR

I was recently involved in a case where the police gathered evidence using a really sketchy search warrant and the prosecution tried to use this evidence before trial to try and scare the defendant into a plea bargain . The evidence was later thrown out because the warrant was invalid but I found it odd that the prosecution likely knew the warrant was invalid but yet they tried to intimidate the defendant with it anyways . How is this legal ? The defendant could have plead guilty to a crime that they would have otherwise been found not guilty because the evidence wasn't legit . How is this fair or even legal ?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Mark C Cogan

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . Your question raises an interesting and recurring issue in our legal system. At its foundation, our legal system is an adversarial system. The theory is that justice results from a contention between the prosecution and the defense, which occurs in the legal system, following the basic rules of procedure which are in place. In order for justice to be the result, the defendant requires capable legal representation. Also, in order for justice to be the result, the prosecution must play by the rules and not engage in cheating. Finally, in order for justice to be the result, the judge must be fair and even-handed. In the real world, however, there are breakdowns. In some cases, defendants do not have good legal representation. In some cases, law enforcement cheats. In some cases, judges are biased. Our legal system is imperfect. The best thing a person can do, when he or she is in trouble with the law, is to secure the best possible legal representation. To be successful, the defense must have the skills, the resources, and the determination, to accomplish the best possible outcome for the client. It sounds from your story that justice was the result, because your lawyer was able to make your case to away.

  2. Troy Austin Pickard

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . From what I have observed, having been a criminal defense lawyer for many years, the government uses sketchy, and often illegally-seized, evidence all the time to scare defendants into pleading guilty. Every day, people are bullied into pleading guilty to crimes they never committed because if they go to trial and lose, the potential punishment makes the risk too great.

    What the government does in this regard is not fair, and it is often illegal. But these government tactics are MUCH less effective if the defendant has a good criminal defense attorney!

    Portland Defender
    1001 Southwest 5th Avenue #1100
    Portland, OR 97204
    (503) 592-0606

  3. Jay Bodzin

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . "Sketchy" is subjective. "Justice" even more so. Without knowing all the facts, it's hard to say whether any improprieties occurred. It sounds like the state failed to convict anyone, though, so to that extent the system worked the way it's supposed to.

    Please read the following notice:

    Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and... more
  4. Richard Stephen Jaffe

    Contributor Level 12

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    Answered . Unfortuantely this is a rather comman occurence. And it is difficult to successfully litigate such an injustice as they have certain immunities. You might contact a civil rights attorney to advise you or a criminal defense lawyer to discuss any complaints you could have.

    Any response given is not to be taken as legal advice or to create an attorney client relationship.

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