Skip to main content

I'm trying to obtain my discovery from my public defender but i keep getting the run around. What can i do or who can i complain

Los Angeles, CA |
Filed under: Criminal defense

My case went to trial in 2009, i was sentenced to prison and since my release i have been trying to get my documents so that i can file a writ of habeas corpus petition.

Attorney Answers 8

  1. The case file belongs to the client. You are entitled to it. Contact the state bar: That'll speed things up.

  2. You can try speaking with a supervisor at the Public Defender's office to expedite your request. The client file does belong to you and you have a right to it.

  3. I agree with the other attorneys. Good luck with your habeas petition!

  4. Certain information in the reports and documents cannot be disclosed to you, such as the address and phone number of witnesses or their identifying information. This is done for the safety of the witnesses. If you ask for a copy of the reports, the public defender may have to take out or black out that information. If the discovery is extensive, this may take some time. But eventually, you are entitled to receive the evidence against you. Try mentioning it in open court to the judge without raising hell and you should be able to get it.

  5. I agree with my colleagues re your file. I just wanted to add that, since you are now no longer incarcerated, a habeas corpus petition is most likely not the vehicle for seeking whatever relief you are attempting to have granted. Not knowing the facts of your case, I can't say what procedural device is available to you but you may wish to investigate the grounds for a writ coram nobis.

    Here's a start point, explaining in general this type of petition:

  6. Since your matter went to trial in 2009, it is likely your file is archived so it may take a while. In addition, it may need to be redacted so that may take even longer.

    You may wish to meet with an attorney to review the case with you to determine what your next step is for the specific goal(s) you are trying to meet. Many respectable attorneys provide free consultation. My suggestion is to meet with at least one.

    The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.

  7. Whether it's a public defender or a private attorney, on demand, an attorney has to turn over a copy of your file to you. If you have any records on your case figure out which attorney handled your case and send that attorney a personal written demand, sent certified mail. You can use the California State Bar website to locate the attorney. If you then do not get the file, file a State Bar complaint. That will get you the file.

    Brian Michaels
    Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

  8. Forget Habeas corpus- you are not in custody.

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics