Suppression of Evidence Law and Legal Definition

Suppression of evidence refers to the failure of a party to testify or to produce available witnesses, his/her destruction or spoliation of evidence. It is the concealment, destruction or withholding of, or refusal to give, material evidence which one has or knows and is legally or morally bound to reveal. It is normally considered an obstruction of justice and a criminal offense.

Suppression of evidence could happen for several reasons. For instance, if a judge believes that the evidence in question was obtained illegally, s/he can rule that it not be shown in court; a prosecutor improperly or intentionally hiding evidence that s/he is legally obligated to show the defense.