My friend hasn't seen the discovery on his criminal case. His attorney keeps making excuses for why she hasn't provided him with them.
Isn't the defendant supposed to be provided his discovery by the omnibus hearing?
How should my friend go about acquiring his discovery? Who does he need to talk to?
The time frame changes a bit depending on whether the case is a misdemeanor or a felony, but discovery must be provided to the defense attorney before the first pretrial or omnibus hearing (provided the attorney has filed a discovery demand). Misdemeanor's have a 21 day time frame after the defense attorney files the discovery demand.
Your friend certainly has the right to go over the discovery with the attorney, but there are some hoops he or she will need to go through in order to obtain a copy of it for themselves: the defense attorney will need to get the prosecutor's approval or the court's approval because there is typically information in the discovery that needs to be redacted (i.e. victim's contact information, social security numbers, etc.).
One other option is to file a public disclosure request for the police reports.
Pursuant to Court Rule in Washington, attorneys are not supposed to provide criminal defense clients with a copy of discovery, unless appropriate redactions have been made which are approved by the prosecutor or the court. But your friend should still be able to at least see the discovery and go over it with his attorney. A link to the court rule is here:
The language I am talking about is found in subsection (h)(3).
Different prosecutor's offices around the state have different policies for approving redactions so that the defendant can be provided a copy. Bottom line: your friend's attorney is probably doing what she is supposed to do in not providing a copy of the discovery to him. But your friend ought to at least be able to meet with the attorney and go over it with her.
Your friend just needs to make an appointment to go to the attorney's office to review the discovery. The court rules don't allow sending it out.
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