Fresno, CA asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for California

Q: how to get documentary if you still haven't got in attorney or a sing to due to conflict cam get one to help him?

He been having problems with getting an attorney to help him for his case they keep preponding it cuz can't no attorney can represent him due to conflict in the case he still have no attorney and wants to ask for his discovery or documentary and haven't got the chance to find out what's going on with his case Sonia was asking how can he go about it and asking for his documentary with out an attorney or one that hasn't been assigned to with out getting or hiring one

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, a defendant has the right to access their discovery materials, even if they do not have an attorney representing them. This process is known as "pro per" or "pro se" discovery. Here are some steps to request discovery materials without an attorney:

1. Write a formal letter to the District Attorney's office handling the case, requesting the discovery materials. The letter should include the case number, defendant's name, and a clear request for all discoverable materials.

2. Send the letter via certified mail with a return receipt requested to ensure proof of delivery.

3. If the District Attorney's office does not respond or fails to provide the discovery materials, the defendant can file a motion with the court to compel discovery. This motion should include:

- The defendant's name and case number

- A statement that the defendant is acting as their own attorney (pro per or pro se)

- Details of the discovery request and the District Attorney's failure to comply

- A request for the court to order the District Attorney to provide the discovery materials

4. File the motion with the court clerk and serve a copy to the District Attorney's office.

5. Attend the hearing scheduled by the court to argue the motion and explain the need for the discovery materials.

It is important to note that while a defendant has the right to represent themselves, it is highly recommended to seek the assistance of an attorney. If the defendant cannot afford an attorney, they may request a court-appointed attorney by filling out the appropriate forms with the court. If there is a conflict with the assigned attorney, the defendant should bring this to the court's attention, and the court will consider appointing a different attorney.

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