Asked in Criminal Law for Rhode Island

Q: Is a defense attorney obligated to turn over inculpatory evidence to the prosecutor?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James J Bagley
James J Bagley
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Providence, RI
  • Licensed in Rhode Island

A: No. The Brady case and it's progeny requires Prosecutors to turn over exculpatory evidence. A Defense lawyer cannot lie or allow their client knowingly to lie on the stand or present a false claim. If the Defense Lawyer finds out their client intends to lie and cannot dissuade them the lawyer can move to withdraw, amongst other things, but will never be obligated to turn over inculpatory evidence.

If the Prosecutor asks for the specific evidence in Discovery and giving it to them wouldn't violate confidentiality, privilege or any constitutional rights then a Defense lawyer should turn it over.

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