In order for a criminal defendant or their attorney to be entitled to obtain discovery, they have to file a formal discovery request with the prosecutor's office, and there are specific discovery statutes that provide what categories of information you are entitled to, depending on whether the case involves felonies or misdemeanors. The form in which the discovery materials are provided is dependent on the operating procedures of that prosecutor's office, so it could be in paper form and/or electronic (e.g., CD/DVD). If you want a CD or DVD of certain materials, you may be required to pay a fee, e.g., $25 or $50, but again, it just depends. Good luck.
Using his best judgment and experience, an attorney decides whether to "opt-in" to discovery in Georgia. By opting in both sides are required to produce more discovery than they normally would have to produce. That is one of the hundreds of strategic decisions that a skilled defense attorney must make on your behalf.
When it is received, discovery usually appears on a CD, but I've had it arrive on paper, DVD, USB and portable hard drive. It varies from county to county. However I get it, I digitize it, run it through OCR (optical character recognition) for easy searching, and then provide it to my clients immediately so we can get to work on their case.
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