In a 2001 episode of a highly popular courtroom drama, a criminal suspect is very excited. “Y’all ain’t got no probable cause… That’s poison from the fruit tree!” Garbled wording aside, the suspect was onto something… or he might have been had he not been on parole and subject to warrantless searches. While you may not know all the ins and outs of the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine and its role in suppressing potentially incriminating evidence, your experienced Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer has an in-depth knowledge of this rule and more, which is why it is so important to obtain the right legal counsel when you are facing charges or are under suspicion.
The “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine is an element of the exclusionary rule of evidence. It bars the use of proof that the police obtained via a search, seizure, or interrogation that violated your constitutional rights, such as the right to counsel or the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
In the recent sex crimes case of one Sarasota County man, the usefulness of the “fruit of the poisonous tree” rule was one the important lessons readers can learn. The other — as often is the case — is: avoid talking to the police without your attorney present.