Before trial, someone who has been accused of a crime gets to have ‘evidence disclosure,’ which shows the evidence that is stacked up against them to be used in trial. There are many types of discovery and you have rights that apply under the law. Here are the most common types of discovery that you are usually permitted:
- A police report that shows the names of victims and witnesses, statements made by everyone, officer observations, and more
- Recordings of interviews that the police hold
- Photographs of the crime scene
- Medical records, criminal records of witnesses, and more
However, courts believe that certain evidence does not need to be disclosed. This includes evidence that is “material” in regards to the defense, which means that it is relevant and could affect the outcome of a case. If something could give aid to the defendant’s case, and prove that they were not actually guilty of a crime, it should be issued so that they can move forward with every bit of evidence on their side. This type of evidence is called “exculpatory,” which means that it strongly indicates that the defendant was not guilty of a crime.
When a defense attorney asks for this type of evidence, they are asking for “Brady” material, referencing Brady v. Maryland (evidence that is favorable to the accused). When the prosecution does not turn over Brady material, they are violating the law. If you are convicted of a crime and it is later found that evidence was not given to you that could have helped you and even kept you from being convicted, you may have a right to a new trial so that the evidence can be disclosed and support your case.
Every case is different which means that every trial will be different, too. You don’t want to have to deal with abuse from the prosecution when they don’t ‘play by the law,’ so turn to us for the help you deserve during this time. Call us as soon as possible at the Law Office of Peter Blair to find out how we can help you and defend your rights.