Does a defendant have the legal right to know what evidence is against him?
4 attorney answers
Yes. The prosecutor has to disclose all relevant evidence pursuant to PC 1054, Brady and Pitchess. Your attorney should have gotten all the evidence the DA has.
Edward J. Blum
You can miss defenses and say the wrong things if you are not represented by an advocate as your attorney.
You might find my Legal Guide helpful "Ethics: Yes I Need a Lawyer!"
Check with a lawyer in your locale to discuss more of the details.
Good luck to you.
NOTE: This answer is made available by the out-of-state lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney that practices in the subject practice discipline and with whom you have an attorney client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.
The prosecution has a duty to give the defense all of the evidence it plans to introduce at trial, PLUS any evidence in the possession of the DA or the police that would help the defense.
In a death penalty case, that usually means thousands of pages of reports and hundreds of pictures, documents, recordings and other evidence. In addition to the evidence the prosecution would use to prove guilt, the defense is also entitled to the evidence to be used in the penalty phase, where the jury decides between death and life without parole.
The evidence is released to the defendant's attorney, who cannot release certain information -- such as the addresses and phone numbers of witnesses and victims -- to the defendant.
A defendant does not have an absolute right to copies of all of these materials while the case is pending. In many serious cases, attorneys don't want their clients' police reports floating around the jail, where snitches can get their hands on them.
Snitches (also known as informants and rats) will sometimes memorize the details contained in another inmate's police reports, then call the detectives and claim the defendant confessed to them. These bottom-feeders can be very convincing... after all, if the defendant didn't confess, how would the snitch know all of these details of the case?
This practice is commonly known as "booking" another inmate.
Yes. The prosecution provides the defense with a copy of the discovery pertaining to the case, and the defense lawyer and you would review it to determine the legal issues, the applicable motions and whether there were other items you were going to request in discovery. Good luck.
This information is offered for informational purposes only, as I am not admitted to practice law in your State. It is not intended as legal advice and you should not rely upon it to decide how to resolve this issue. No Attorney-Client relationship is intended or established by this response. You are faced with a situation where you need to consult with an experienced defense lawyer admitted to practice law in your State before you make any decisions as to how to resolve this issue.