Exclusionary Rule

Utah Courts define exclusionary rule as “a rule by which evidence that was obtained illegally cannot be used in a criminal trial against a defendant. Also, in criminal cases, a rule which prevents witnesses from observing each other testify or from discussing testimony during the course of the proceedings.” Dictionary Reference defines exclusionary rule as “a rule that forbids the introduction of illegally obtained evidence in a criminal trial” .

Example Sentence

The conversation between the suspects taken from a wire tapping surveillance  is not admissible as evidence in accordance to the exclusionary rule.

Case Study

In State v. Gettling, the court states that “although Deputy Radmall violated Mr. Gettling’s Fourth Amendment rights by detaining him after concluding the lawful purpose of the traffic stop, we apply the federal good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule and uphold the district court’s denial of Mr. Gettling’s motion to suppress”.  As a background, Mr. Gettling was a passenger of a car that was stopped for improper lane change and failure to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. The peace officer also found out that none of the three people in the car hold a valid license. The officer also observed Mr. Gettling’s suspicious action and so he had the dog sniffed the vehicle. Drugs were discovered in the car and Mr. Gettling wanted to suppress the evidence against him by citing exclusionary rule that says illegally acquired items cannot be used as evidence. An exception for exclusionary rule are found evidence that the officer obtained through good faith. Since the officer was acting on legal authority, the discovered drug items are admissible as evidence.

Other Important Information

Title 77 Chapter 23a Section 7  states that  “When any wire, electronic, or oral communication has been intercepted, no part of the contents of the communication and no evidence derived from it may be received in evidence in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding in or before any court, grand jury, department, officer, agency, regulatory body, legislative committee, or other authority of the state, or a political subdivision of the state, if the disclosure of that information would be in violation of this chapter” Cornell Law states that there is an exception to the exclusionary rule. Evidences that were obtained through the use of a search warrant are admissible in court even if the search warrant may be found defective after the evidences were seized in the belief that the people conducting the search warrant are legal authority and are acting in good faith.

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