If you have been accused of a crime, then you could be entitled to evidence and information. When you are going through a criminal trial, you typically have a right to receive this material, which is known as “discovery.” One of the most common types of discovery is a police report, because it could include the names of victims, report statements, observations by an officer, and more. However, some other types of discovery that you may have heard of include recordings of police interviews, photographs of crime scenes, and records.
If you are working with a defense attorney, they will submit requests for discovery and ask for evidence. The evidence needed is that in which contradicts the defendant’s supposed guilt or supports a lesser punishment. This type of evidence is sometimes called “Brady material.” Brady material comes from the 1963 Supreme Court case “Brady v. Maryland” where it states that it is a violation of due process for the prosecution to suppress evidence that the defense has requested. This could be material that is used to guilt or is favorable to the accused. If the defense learns about a Brady violation after you, the defendant, have been convicted, then you could be ordered a new trial to have your say.
California Penal Code Section 1054.1
Under this penal code section, it states, “The prosecuting attorney shall disclose to the defendant or his or her attorney all of the following materials and information, if it is in the possession of the prosecuting attorney or if the prosecuting attorney knows it to be in the possession of the investigating agencies.” This includes the names of addresses of people being called as witnesses, statements from defendants, all relevant and real evidence, the existence of a felony conviction, and exculpatory evidence.
You may have questions for your defense attorney at this point when you have been charged with a crime. You may wonder, what are the procedures for obtaining discovery in your specific case? When does the prosecution have to provide discovery? Because you have questions, we have answers for you. Call us at The Law Office of Peter Blair for more.