This is the fourth in a series of blogs about the six stages of a criminal case, and what actions you should take in each stage. Please be sure to read stage one, Initial Investigation; stage two, Arrest and Charges; and stage three, Pre-Trial Court Dates. Always remember that all cases vary, and stages of a case can happen simultaneously. If you have any questions about criminal charges you are facing, or need a lawyer’s advice, please contact me ASAP for a free consultation. It’s very important to have someone on your side as you are facing the quagmire our legal system can become. Ensure your rights are protected at all times!
What is the Discovery stage?
Discovery is the formal process of investigation and information exchange between the prosecution and the defense. This includes information about the evidence and the witnesses that each side will put forward during the trial. This is done so that both sides will have an understanding of how the trial will work, and both sides will be able to counter or answer any evidence presented. Sometimes, this information can be used to reach an out-of-court settlement, and a trial will not be necessary.
Examples of the types of discovery
Though police reports are the most common type of discovery, there are other types that come into play during the formal investigation process. These include:
- Audio & Video Recordings
- Lab Reports
- Medical Records
- Financial Records
While most of the above are examples of the discovery that the government gives the defense, there are also things the defense can do to prepare for the case. The most common is interviewing witnesses in the case.
Other examples include:
- A private investigator can find additional witnesses
- Additional records can be subpoenaed (e.g., financial records, medical records)
- Experts can offer opinions on the evidence in the case based on their expertise
How can my lawyer help during this time?
Your attorney is an invaluable asset during the entire trial process. A good attorney will take the time to keep you up to date on what is happening with your trial. Make sure to have a great criminal defense, so that your rights will always be protected.
If you or someone you know is facing charges and needs help, contact Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Burges McCowan.
Interested in learning more about the stages of a criminal case? Read Stage 5: Trial.