Are you being prosecuted for a crime with hidden evidence? It is not uncommon for someone to be charged with a crime but be left wondering “How? What evidence could they possibly think shows I committed a crime?”
Well, the American justice system is founded on a principle of equal disclosure of all evidence, whether it tends to prove a defendant’s guilt or a defendant’s innocence. In California, Penal Code §1054 is the law that governs a process called “Discovery.” Discovery occurs at the early stages of a criminal trial, and requires the Prosecution to declare what witnesses they will be calling, and to turn over any evidence found in the process of their investigation.
For instance, the District Attorney must give you a copy of any police reports written by any officers that were a part of your arrest or investigation! This is important as it allows an experienced defense attorney to critically examine exactly what the police are claiming you did or didn’t do. Any discrepancies can very well lead to a dismissal! Did you say no to a search of your vehicle but the police are saying you gave consent? Well if your attorney knows this he can request a copy of the police cruiser videotape and clearly show your rights were violated.
Don’t let the District Attorney’s office try and push you around without giving you the evidence you’re entitled to examine. Make sure you have an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows what to ask for, what to look at, and how to protect your rights!