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In a trial when does prosecutors. Have to turn in evidence. And witnesses.

Hartwell, GA |
Filed under: Criminal defense

Aggravated assault case can they bring in new evidence after the date

Attorney Answers 3


Generally, while neither side is required to file possible evidence with the court prior to trial, if they decide to present certain evidence they have to provide the other side with copies of such ordinarily at least 10 days prior, per Ga criminal case discovery statutes. If either side attempts to use evidence not provided by the standard discovery deadlines, they may or may not be prohibited from using such, depending on the circumstances of the particular issue, including whether the other side can still be provided such and have an adequate opportunity to review without being unduly prejudiced. I advise that you hire a criminal defense attorney or apply for a public defender, as Agg Ass is a serious offense.

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Like what? Like a new witness? A new fingerprint? A new video?

In Georgia, defendants must first "opt-in" to the discovery process. Otherwise, neither side has to "show their cards" to the other side. Most non-lawyers don't realize this and it is one of the major mistakes people make when they convince themselves they can represent themselves.

In other situations, the prosecution mistakenly believes they have turned over evidence before trial when they haven't. The remedy is usually no more than to delay the trial for a few hours or a day while the defense absorbs the new evidence.

Other times, the prosecution has provided the evidence (or notice that it exists) and the defense attorney simply overlooked it. This more likely where the particular defense attorney is extremely busy and overloaded, like a public defender.

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There are two issues involved here: (1) discovery violations; and (2) trial readiness. First, there is no right to discovery in a criminal trial unless the defendant "opts in" to reciprocal discovery. If they have, then the general rule is that the State must provide all of its discovery at least 10 days before trial. However, when there is a violation of that general rule, it does not mean that the evidence is excluded from the trial. The judge has discretion to shorten the time for discovery. The judge also has other remedies than exclusion (usually continuance). The judge can only exclude the evidence if (1) the failure to provide discovery was in bad faith (basically, they were hiding it); and (2) the late discovery is prejudicial to the defense. Normally this is a burden that cannot be met. For instance, often times photographs are not developed until right before a trial. In those cases, the judge typically gives the defense time to look over the photos, but will not continue the case. The theory is that, normally, the content of photos is merely cummulative of trial testimony. Therefore, the late discovery is not prejudicial.

The other issue is trial preparedness. Sometimes a judge will continue a case because discover was not completed in time. That happens very rarely and depends upon what discovery was late. If its something that the defense needs to show to an expert, then the court might grant a continuance. Otherwise, the court expects the defense to adapt quickly to the new evidence.

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