Monder Law Group - News
Getting your criminal discovery in a San Diego Criminal Case
The government in any prosecution of a San Diego defendant must turn over any and all discovery that would lead to the conviction of a defendant. However, there are instances where the prosecutor chooses to disclose certain information when it becomes exculpatory for the defendant. If the prosecution does not turn over exculpatory evidence to the defendant, then it becomes a Brady violation. Brady is a case that involved a request by the defense for specific evidence that was not turned over by the prosecution that would have lead to the exoneration of the defendant.
Following Brady, in another murder case, the United States Supreme Court discussed the requirements for the prosecution to disclose evidence in the absence of a request by the defense. United States v. Agurs, 427 U.S. 97 (1976). Now there is a constitutional duty for the prosecution to disclose evidence even if the defense does not ask for the specific piece of evidence that is exculpatory.
Knowing that the prosecution has a constitutional duty to turn over exculpatory evidence, it is wise for any defendant to not resolve any case until all information is turned over. As an experienced criminal defense attorney in San Diego, I do not recommend my clients to take the first deal in any case when I have not seen what the prosecution has to prove. I must weigh the evidence in light of what becomes incriminating, mitigating, and exculpatory. I have had several cases dismissed because the mitigation or exculpatory evidence outweighs what becomes incriminating in the prosecution’s case in chief. San Diego prosecutors understand the importance of preserving evidence that is exculpatory. Prosecutors have been fired and charged in the past for destroying evidence in a case that would lead to the innocence of the defendant. Essentially, the prosecution must be forthcoming with any and all information in a San Diego criminal case.
Criminal defendants often believe there is a government conspiracy against them and they are hiding information. However, through different vehicles allowed by defense attorneys in the court system we can get information that we have reason to believe exists. Either by filing a formal discovery request or a pitchess motion, the defense has tools necessary to adequately prepare every single case for trial. Sometimes a trial judge will limit the exposure of evidence presented to the jury if it deemed prejudicial or privileged. However, defense attorneys will argue these points to exhaustion so that the jury will hear the truth of the prosecutions case in chief.
The penal code section to request discovery in your San Diego criminal case is section 1054.1. The defense will request the prosecution to disclose all of the information required under section 1054.1. Any time you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in San Diego make sure there is a plan for obtaining discovery in your criminal case and investigating those claims to pursue further discovery requests. If you have any questions about a San Diego criminal case, contact experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney Vik Monder at 619.405.0063 or visit San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney