Rialto, CA asked in Criminal Law for California

Q: Do you have a right to your discoveries while you are fighting a criminal case

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3 Lawyer Answers

David Philip Shapiro Esq

Answered
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Almost always, yes.

Ryan James Tegnelia

Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes. Some of the discovery can be redacted (contact and private information of witnesses removed) but it does not need to be given to defense counsel.

Robert Lee Marshall

Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • OROVILLE, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your lawyer has the right to discovery. If you're representing yourself, the discovery may be given to a court-appointed private investigator.

This question often comes up with defendants represented by a public defender. Your lawyer is required to discuss the case with you, but is NOT required to give you actual copies of the police reports.

In some cases, it can be downright dangerous to give police reports to a client, especially when they're in jail. Other inmates may read the reports, which could put the client's life in jeopardy (especially in sex cases). Snitches may also read the reports to get details of the case, then try to work a deal in their own case by claiming the defendant confessed to them.

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