Military Rule Of Evidence 311 - Illegal Searches And Seizures DEFENDING MILITARY MEMBERS WORLDWIDE Contact Us!

MILITARY RULE OF EVIDENCE 311 - ILLEGAL SEARCHES AND SEIZURES

The law involving illegal obtained evidence general relates to two issues - whether the search and seizure were legal under the 4th Amendment to the Constitution and whether the evidence is admissible.

The Military Rules of Evidence address searches and seizures in Military Rule of Evidence 311.

Illegally obtained evidence is challenged in court through a motion to suppress or other objections.

Military Rule of Evidence 311 (d) requires counsel to move for the suppression of illegally obtained evidence before entering a plea.

The burden of proof, however, is on the prosecutor to show that the evidence was obtained legally and is admissible.

Unfortunately, the 4th Amendment has been heavily diluted by the appellate courts. There are many exceptions to the 4th Amendment. Some of those exceptions include:

  • The Good Faith Exception - the idea that otherwise illegally obtained evidence is admissible if the government was acting in good faith when they obtained the evidence. The classic example is when law enforcement conducts a search based on information that is later determined to be incorrect.
  • The Inevitable Discovery Exception - this kind of evidence is admissible if the government can show that they would have eventually discovered the evidence through lawful means.
  • The Emergency / Hot Pursuit Exception - permits the admissibility of evidence obtained while law enforcement discovers the evidence during an emergency or in hot pursuit of a subject.

Often issues of illegal searches and seizures boils down to whether the service member had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the place searched.

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    For the better part of the last decade, Mr. Conway has become a nationally recognized resource on military justice. Daniel Conway is a former Marine staff sergeant and captain. He is a proud graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio and University of New Hampshire School of Law. Mr. Conway is recently a former President of the New Hampshire Bar Association Military Law Section and a current member of the DC Bar. Mr. Conway has also written a book on Military Crimes and Defenses that is near publication with a major ...

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    A Richmond, Virginia native, Mr. Pristera graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After spending some time as a DuPont engineer, specifically working on Kevlar manufacturing and ballistics applications, Mr. Pristera attended law school at the University of New Hampshire. On July 4, 2010, Mr. Pristera was commissioned in the U.S. Army in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Mr. Pristera spent almost six years on active duty. He spent just over three of those years in criminal defense, ...

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