Evidence In Criminal Defense Cases

TRANSCRIPT: The way that evidence comes to the defense in a criminal case at least ordinarily and at the beginning is that we file with the state of florida a request that all discovery materials that they have in their possession should be turned over to us within 15 days. And they comply, not always within 15 days, but within a short period of time they voluntarily supply us with a couple of things. One is the list of witnesses that are material to the case, whether the witnesses are helpful to the state or helpful to the defense they need to be listed by the state of florida, if they know who those witnesses are. What their addresses are. If they are law enforcement, what law enforcement agency and those sorts of things. So we get those witnesses. We also get with them a whats known as, itemized of physical evidence they've gather in the case. Any test results, expert witnesses they intend to call if those results are already in. Sometimes, the case is still under investigation, when they file charges they will tell us that. they will tell us whether or not they have electronic surveillance, whether its audio, audio video, whether they have any computer information and whether they have gather those in the case. Any and all of those materials are turned over to us. we also can conduct of own investigation. depending on what our client knows about the case and what our client can tell us. sometimes we go out and interview witnesses take swarm statements from witnesses, if we intend to use those witnesses, we have to turn those over, timely, to the state of florida as well. so that when everyone goes to trial, both the state and the defense, each side should know every piece of physical evidence thats going to be used by either side. and everyone should know who the witnesses are. If we need experts we are required to timely supply those experts to the state of florida. who we are going to use at trial, including any reports that they have made, they are normally required to file a written report of their findings. And we have that report for ourselves and we turn those reports over to the prosecutors. state of florida, the prosecutors are in a different position. His job is to do justice, our job is to defend our client vigorously within the bounds of law. they are required to turn over everything they have. failure to do so can cause a mis trial, a dismissal of a case in the most grievous of circumstances, and cause them to face some punishment by the court if their actions are willful.