Prosecution Withholding Evidence
Do you have questions about the prosecution withholding evidence? Call Smith & Green Attorneys at Law today for a legal consultation.
What if the prosecution is withholding evidence?
We get a number of questions here in our office in Phoenix from our criminal clients particularly about the possibility of prosecutors withholding evidence or not turning the evidence over to them or to their public defender or to their current counsel. Plainly put, that’s a violation of one’s constitutional rights. Back in 1963, there was a case called Brady vs. Maryland, and in that case Justice William Orville Douglas wrote the opinion for the court saying that suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused person upon request violates due process where the evidence is either material to guilt or to innocence or to punishment, irrespective of whether the information was held in good faith or bad faith.
To that point, if the prosecution has evidence, and it’s material to your guilt or to your punishment, they have an obligation under the due process clause of the constitution to turn that evidence over to you. We get a number of calls from defendants and from their family members that feel like the state hasn’t – or the federal government if it’s a federal case – turned over all of the evidence. Some of that evidence may be exculpatory, and so it’s important that you get all of the evidence in your hands so that an adequate defense can be presented to you.
A knowledgeable attorney will request everything. They’ll first send a preservation letter to whoever has the evidence telling them don’t destroy this evidence because it could get – it could lean into your innocence. They’ll also request everything from the police department, notes between the officers, handwritten notes, all of the police reports, text messages, social media posts. There are a myriad of things that could be requested and that should be requested that may be what we call Brady materials that could be exculpatory to you, and you have a right to this information under the constitution.
If you’re interested in this area because of a family member or for yourself, I urge you to give our office a call. We can help you with that matter whether your case is in federal court or state court or one of the municipal courts. Give us a call. We’ll go over this with you. These are things that should’ve been gone over with your attorney. If you’re self-represented, please call an attorney. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by because there will come a point in the case where if you don’t have the material, you can’t use it, and so we urge you to give our office a call. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to help you with getting this evidence that is exculpatory to you.
Have you or a loved one been involved in a criminal defense case and have questions about prosecution withholding evidence? Contact experienced Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorneys at Smith & Green today for a legal consultation.
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