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Attenuation Doctrine

What happens when police perform a stop or a search that is violation of the Constitution?  In many instances, that evidence or the “fruits” of that stop or search is excluded as evidence and cannot be used in a courtroom.  However, that rule known as the exclusionary rule, only applies when the benefits of deterrence surpass the social costs of excluding the evidence, i.e. such as setting the guilty free and the dangerous at large.  C.P. v. State, 39 N.E.3d 1174, 1180 (Ind. Ct. App.), transfer denied, 39 N.E.3d 381 (Ind. 2015). 

One exception to the exclusionary rule is the attenuation doctrine.  The attenuation doctrine can be applied under certain situations when police or law enforcement make an unconstitutional investigative stop, learns during the stop that the individual is subject to a valid arrest warrant, and proceeds to arrest the suspect and seize incriminating evidence during a search incident to that arrest. That is, when the causal connection between the Fourth Amendment violation and the evidence objected to is “remote,” the exclusionary rule does not apply and the evidence may be admitted in court.  See Hudson v. Michigan, 547 U.S. at 586 (2006).

Looking for a Hancock County criminal defense lawyer that understands your criminal and constitutional rights? Contact the attorneys at Keffer Barnhart LLP today if you have questions or believe your rights have been violated.  We stand ready to provide our clients with trusted representation and accurate information regarding the law and its application to their individualized case.  Act now and contact us today at 1-800-NOT-GUILTY or (317) 857-0160.