Info needed for suppression of evidence and to argue constitutionality of city ordinance

Asked 9 months ago - Key West, FL

I'm a Pro Se Defendant who has motioned court for hearing to suppress evidence of Prosecution. Can I use newspapers to contradict what the Pros. might use? do I need to have the newspaper writer there, or perhaps the source mentioned in the story? Can I subpoena witnesses to appear who are reluctant to " get involved"? How can the Prosecution use an arrest from 13 yrs ago against me now when the situations are TOTALLY unrelated? Can they use letters I wrote to the police dept. and sheriff office against me, letters I wrote 7-8 years ago? any help will be greatly appreciated. All this is for a municipal ordinance violation that has 60 day, or $500, or both maximum punishment. I'm also going to argue constitutionality issue and the selective enforcement by local cops.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Catherine Elizabeth Bennett

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
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    Answered . As the other attorney indicated, we cannot give you a crash course on procedure. We certainly cannot give you a crash course on the rules of evidence. Evidence is very complex, and highly factually dependent. For example, can you use a newspaper as evidence? In some situations, absolutely, in others maybe, and in others not at all. A newspaper article about something objective, that is not reasonably in dispute, is admissible. An example would be that it rained a particular day and streets downtown were flooded. But a newspaper article about what people said about the flooding, damage it did to their businesses, etc. would not be admissible to prove what the people said or to prove the damages. At that point, the newspaper article is hearsay. It wouldn't do you any good to have the writer there--the writer doesn't have personal knowledge about the things people told him, so he'd be incompetent to testify. The witnesses themselves could be called to testify if they have personal knowledge of facts.

    Yes, you can subpoena people who are reluctant. A subpoena is a court order. People don't become "less reluctant" with subpoenas. In fact they could sabotage you because you angered them.

    I agree that you need a criminal defense attorney to help you negotiate this quagmire.

    I am licensed only in California and this response is provided as general information only. It is not intended to... more
  2. Josh P Tolin

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I do not do criminal law, but would highly encourage you to retain a criminal law specialist to help you. You only get one shot at this, and this forum is not designed to give you a course on the law which takes a long time to learn, and even longer to learn procedure. I hope you retain someone, so you can have a better shot of getting your motion granted.

  3. Miguel Amador

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I highly recommend you retain criminal defense counsel to represent you. Your issue sounds rather complicated and only the assistance of an experienced attorney will help you with regards to the proper law and motions that need to be filed on your behalf. If you intend to proceed pro se, I suggest heading over to a local law library or using the internet to provide you with some guidance. A motion to suppress is very fact specific and requires supporting law in order to stand a chance. Either way, I wish you good luck.

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