Asked in Criminal Law for Washington

Q: If an individual is charged and is awaiting trial, doesn't he/ she have the right to police reports to the case?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Carl Munson JR
Carl Munson JR
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Bellingham, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: The short answer is yes. If the individual has a lawyer (and they should if they are charged with a crime - it is just good sense), then their lawyer will get the police reports and the client can meet with the attorney and go over the reports together. If the individual is representing themselves (never a good idea), then they can "demand discovery" from the prosecution as a lawyer would. But the individual has to basically go in front of the judge and ask to proceed pro se (represent themselves). The judge will discuss with the person the dangers of representing themselves and will decide if the person can go forward pro se. If they are allowed to proceed pro se, they must follow all of the court rules, procedures, etc in obtaining discovery and providing it to the prosecution.

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