FREE CONSULTATIONS

Email or Call (215) 564-0644

    Philadelphia Criminal Drug Charges, Suppressing Drug Evidence & Incriminating Statements

    Suppression Law – Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

    The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree doctrine is very important in the area of Pennsylvania search and seizure law. The idea behind this doctrine is that the tree (illegal police conduct) produced fruit (drug evidence, incriminating statements, etc.); therefore, the fruit must be suppressed.

    When this doctrine is applied, anything causally related to the illegal police conduct may be suppressed.

    The following situation is exaggerated to demonstrate how the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine works.

    Police pull over a car of young people in Philadelphia, without any basis to do so. The driver is asked to get out of the car and is hand-cuffed while police ask him whether there are any drugs in the car. He admits there are drugs in the trunk.

    In the trunk, police find a large bag containing drugs, and a large amount of cash. The police suspect that the drugs are being dealt out of a specific house nearby. They arrest the driver and then go to the house, where they find more drugs, guns and evidence that the driver was dealing drugs out of the house. He is charged with drug dealing (Possession with Intent to Deliver) and multiple counts of unlawful possession of a gun.

    Here, the initial stop was illegal because the police had no reasonable basis to pull the car over. It led to following:

    • the illegal custodial interrogation of the driver;
    • illegal recovery of drugs in the trunk;
    • illegal search of a home nearby;
    • illegal recovery of drugs in the home;
    • illegal recovery of guns/firearms in the home.

    Therefore in applying the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine, all the statements and evidence recovered, drugs and guns, would probably be suppressed, in which case, the charges against the driver would be dismissed.

    It is important to note that there are some exceptions to the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine. If the government can prove that it would have found the evidence another way, or if the connection between the initial illegal conduct and the evidence is too weak, then the evidence will be allowed and the case will continue. In the above example, if there is evidence that the police were already investigating the house for drug dealing and were going to make a raid anyway, the evidence found in the home would probably not be suppressed.

    Related: Who is the Best Criminal Lawyer for Your Philadelphia Criminal Case?

    Drug Charge Criminal Lawyer in Philadelphia

    If you or a loved one was arrested for a drug related charge in the Philadelphia area, including Montgomery, Delaware and Bucks County or in federal court, please call our criminal lawyers for a free consultation. (215) 564-0644

    David Nenner is an experienced criminal lawyer who has handled many drug cases in both Pennsylvania state and federal court. He offers a free phone consultation for all drug and gun cases.

    DISCLAIMER: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. Our lawyers provide legal advice only after accepting a case. It is imperative that any action taken is done on advice of counsel. Since each case is unique, discussion of prior outcomes and settlements in past cases is no guarantee of a similar outcome in current or future cases. Contacting our lawyers via the email contact form on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through the contact form

    David S. Nenner

    "Top Rated Criminal Defense Lawyer"
    (2015-2022)

    MURDER, Att. Murder CHARGES – Negotiated Significantly Lower prison sentence (Feb. 2022, PHILA)

    Mr. Anderson faced murder and attempted murder charges after an incident in Northeast Philadelphia involving the shooting death of Anderson’s sister’s boyfriend and the boyfriend’s roommate who was shot 5 times and survived. The decedent had previously beaten the...

    Att. MURDER CHARGES – NOT GUILTY JURY VERDICT (April 2022, PHILA)

    The Commonwealth alleged that Mr. Shelton shot and seriously injured a male in a bar in North Philadelphia called Circles. There was video of the shooting which happened outside the bar. However, Mr. Nenner presented witnesses who testified that the person in the bar...

    MURDER, Robbery CHARGES – NOT GUILTY JURY VERDICT (MAY 2021, PHILA)

    Mr. Nenner's client was charged with multiple crimes (murder, conspiracy, aggravated assault, robbery, etc.) after a shooting death occurred at a gambling house in North Philadelphia. At trial, Mr. Nenner successfully presented a self-defense argument and convinced...

    MURDER CHARGE – NOT GUILTY JURY VERDICT (MAY 2021, PHILA)

    Mr. Nenner’s client was charged with murder and gun charges in Philadelphia. The client was accused of shooting and killing another male on Arch Street near the 5600 block of Ithan Street in Philadelphia. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty after deliberating...

    Drug Possession Case – Motion to Suppress Granted

    Mr. Nenner presented evidence that to show that the traffic stop was a pretextual stop. The officer had no reason to pull the car over. The judge agreed and suppressed the evidence. As a result, the prosecution withdrew the charges.

    Sentencing for 1st Degree Murder in PA

    In this article below we discuss sentencing for 1st degree murder cases in Pennsylvania. In later articles, we will discuss sentencing for 2nd and 3rd degree murder cases. If you or a loved one is facing murder charges in Philadelphia or the surrounding counties,...

    Philadelphia Criminal Trials – Evidence Pointing to Another Perpetrator in Drug Possession or Drug Manufacture Cases

    In criminal trials in Philadelphia, one pretty common defense tactic is pointing the finger at another person at trial. This can raise enough doubt to result in a not guilty verdict by the judge or jury that the defendant was not the perpetrator of the crime. Here’s...

    Philadelphia Murder & Gun Possession Cases Increasing in 2021 – A Look at Common Charges & Defenses

    A look at PA criminal law for Murder (1st, 2nd, 3rd Degree), Aggravated Assault, Robbery, Possession of a Firearm, Carrying a Firearm Without a License, Carrying a Firearm in Philadelphia (misdemeanor).

    Pennsylvania Murder Charges, Deceased Person’s Statements Used to Prove Guilt

    Defense Trial Strategies – Excluding Statements That Accuse the Defendant Prosecutors often look to a deceased individual’s statements made prior to a murder to show that the defendant is guilty. These statements may point to a history of violence between the deceased...

    Pennsylvania (State) Drug Charges, Dog Sniffs & Constitutional Law

    Federal and Pennsylvania state courts treat narcotics dog searches differently. So different that the same scenario could result in different outcomes in federal versus state court. For example, a Philadelphia resident is pulled over for speeding. During the traffic...