Do I have a right to see the evidence against me before deciding on a plea?

Asked 12 months ago - Orlando, FL

How am I supposed to decide whether to go to trial or not if I have not seen the evidence against me? My lawyer is stating he has received a plea which I think is ridiculous since this is my first offense and I have seen no evidence. My lawyer also implied that he would put some of his own money in for restitution because it would cost him more to go to trial. Does this make sense?

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Bryce Aric Fetter

    Contributor Level 15

    16

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have an absolute right to see the State's discovery (evidence) including photographs, written statements, physical evidence, etc. Good luck.

    www.BryceFetter.com

  2. Lori Doganiero Palmieri

    Contributor Level 15

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . That makes no sense at all. You have the right to know the witnesses and evidence against you to decide whether a plea offer is in your best interest or not. How can you make an informed decision about whether to enter a guilty or no contest plea until you are convinced the State has the evidence to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt? Your lawyer can receive a plea offer from the state prior to their disclosure of discovery, but normally does not counsel you to accept it until he has reviewed all the evidence against you. The final point about your lawyer putting in his own money to cover your restitution is very unusual and I would question the motives. Perhaps he is inexperienced and is fearful of trying the case. You might want to consult with another attorney. Good luck.

  3. Michael Charles McGinn

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First of all you have every right to see the evidence and/or discovery the State has in its possession. Secondly how did your lawyer imply that he would pay some of his own money toward your restitution to avoid going to trial? If he actually said this or implied this that is highly unethical. I would RUN not walk to get away from this attorney and seek new counsel.

    If you find my answer to be helpful or the best answer, please make sure to mark your choice. **COMMUNICATION ON... more
  4. Tiffany Vanessa Colbert

    Contributor Level 13

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is not uncommon for a prosecutor to make an offer early on in a case based off of the arrest report and a person's history. You do and should take the time to go over the evidence against you in order to make an informed decision about what is the smartest route to go with your case.

    For more information or to contact this attorney, visit http://www.thecolbertlawfirm.com or call 407-412-7234.... more
  5. Marci Dana Silver

    Contributor Level 13

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have the right to reject a plea offer, but the State has the option to offer a plea before their time to comply with discovery is up or in lieu of filing any motions to either obtain it or other substantive motions. The State does not have an obligation at any time to make a plea offer. You have the right to review the case with the attorney and if you do not feel the State will be able to prove their case, you can roll the dice and call their bluff. You can ask if your attorney can call over to inquire what evidence they have ahead of your accepting the offer. If the attorney knows them well enough, they might be able to get something preliminary to aid you in the decision process.

  6. Daniel Antonio Hernandez

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . By my count this is the third time you've posted this same question.

    If you are that concerned with the actions of your attorney, you need to seek out another one. Quickly, since this is a criminal matter.

  7. Colleen M. Glenn

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes you can not possibly make a fully informed, intelligent decision on what route to take with your case unless you are fully advised about the evidence the State intends to use against you. The only exception to this would be a Federal case where they are not required to provide discovery.

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