In a criminal trial, the prosecution witheld a search warrant from the judge and jury, what can be done about that ? new trial?

Asked over 3 years ago - South Yarmouth, MA

there was a gps warrant obtained to track defendants vehicle. the battery dies, and then they get another warrant to track a cellphone. they talked about the gps, and showed all that.. but during the trial- prosecution failed to show or talk about the other search warrant, because it was..; pretty much illegal- they somehow got a warrant to track a cellphone that didnt even belong to the defendant. so they never talked about it, kept it hush. and then lied to the judge and jury- telling them that the way they found the defendants location was with the gps. but that was a lie- the battery died so they used the GPS. ---this is wrong right?? what do you think should be done, we are in the appeal process now. does that mean a new trial?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. William Scott Smith

    Contributor Level 5

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You should contact a skilled criminal defense attorney who has experience handling appeals- a highly specialized field of practice. I am a little unclear from your question, but as a threshold matter, if the prosecution had failed to disclose the existence of the search warrant to the defendant's attorney before trial, that is certainly a potential ground for appeal. As to revealing a warrant to the "jury" at trial, however, it is unlikely that those grounds would get a defendant very far on appeal because, in fact, when trying a case, almost invariably, the defendant and his trial attorney would not actually want the fact that a search warrant had been issued against the defendant to be heard by the jury anyway. It generally carries with it the harmful connotation in front of juries that if a judge or magistrate had earlier issued such a warrant and the defendant was named in it, then there must be at least some indication that the defendant is, in fact, "guilty."
    Did the defendant's lawyer file a motion to suppress the evidence before trial? If so, and if the judge had ruled this evidence to be inadmissible, then that would explain why the prosecution did not introduce it. The exclusionary rule would forbid them from doing so.
    In any event, you must have an experienced criminal appeals attorney review the entire record of the case before any determination of what the most effective grounds for appeal would be can be made.

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