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If speedy trial is waived, how long before a federal criminal trial does a federal prosecutor have to turn over discovery?

Jacksonville, FL |

If speedy trial is waived, how long before a federal criminal trial does a federal prosecutor have to turn over discovery to the defense counsel?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. The discovery process is usually covered by a pretrial order, and in theory it is supposed to happen fairly quickly, even with a speedy trial waiver. Most pretrial orders in my district require discovery within five days after a demand by the defense. But prosecutors can sometimes be slow about production, particularly in cases with a high volume of documents. Your lawyer will push for disclosure, and will likely file for additional time to review the material if it is not produced quickly.

    The response I have provided is general in nature, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. My practice is based in Rhode Island, and the law and practice in other states or jurisdictions may be different.


  2. Discovery in federal court. I'm laughing too hard to type.

    If you were arrested in federal court then you have a federal lawyer (PD or otherwise). You need to ask her / him.

    First, second and third: No attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of any Q&A with Michael A. Haber, Esq. on Avvo. Fourth: Anything that you post on Avvo (or on similar sites) or on any social media is by its nature public. It is essentially an admission / confession and can be introduced into evidence as a statement against your interest in a subsequent legal proceeding. Once posted you lose any reasonable expectation of privacy, so, as this is an open forum (with no privilege attached), please be extra careful when considering what to post online (forewarned is forearmed.)


  3. Federal courts make very limited use of "discovery," especially compared to what the rules require and allow for Florida state cases. This lack of federal discovery is the source of the term "trial by ambush" in federal cases.
    Discovery is handled right up front - the judge requests the parties participate in a pre-set rule regarding discovery, and the parties do their best with what they get. Now, there other ways to get some insight as to the government's case, and for this you need an experience federal defense attorney who can cause agents to appear and testify, and then subject them to cross examination.

    Speak to and hire an experienced federal criminal defense attorney soon - the federal system can move swiftly, even with a waiver of speedy, and the case will be reviewed at least once every trial calendar by a judge who wants to keep things moving. Good luck.

    The above is provided for educational purposes only and is not legal advice nor makes you a client of the Mosca Law Firm, PA. Please consult with a lawyer in order to obtain confidential legal advice that is tailored to your specific situation and facts.


  4. In my experience, most discovery in Federal cases is provided by the prosecutor within the first 5 to 10 days after the arraignment. There have been occasions when the amount of evidence (volume wise) requires the prosecutor to take more time to disseminate. Your attorney, court appointed or private-hire will be able to make demands on the prosecutor for faster turn-over, but may indeed need to move for additional time to review the documentation.

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