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What is meant by the term "under the fruits of the poisonous tree doctrine" in a criminal trial?

Tacoma, WA |

The above term had to do with a ruling on a 3.5 hearing or motion as to what could be let in as evidence against the defendant.

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Attorney answers 2


The term "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" refers to any evidence obtained as the result of an illegal search or seizure. The theory is that any evidence that was discovered after the unconstitutional act should not be allowed as evidence. There are some exceptions to the rule such as evidence that would likely have been discovered by independent means.

The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case and designed to help you with your personal needs.


Searches of persons or property generally require a warrant unless they fall under certain exceptions, including but not limited to: if someone consents to the search, if the search is incident to a valid arrest, if the search is a protective search or if there are exigent circumstances. If an officer obtains evidence through an illegal search, that evidence is considered “tainted” or “fruit of the poisonous tree” and is not admissible.

This answer is for educational purposes and is not intended as legal advice.

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