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Discovery in Maryland DUI Cases
Discovery in a Maryland DUI case means that a prosecutor is required to turn over material information for the case. In Maryland, discovery rules require the prosecutor to turn over almost everything they have for the case. Usually, prosecutors will turn over everything they have.
A request for discovery is made immediately after a lawyer is retained to put the prosecution on notice that the lawyer is asking for materials associated with the case. Prosecutors are given up to the time before trial to present the discovery to the defense. If prosecutors do not present the discovery in a timely manner, they can face sanctions including the dismissal of charges. Maryland law enforcement is usually not a part of the discovery process. They present their findings to the prosecution. It is the prosecution’s responsibility to submit that discovery to the defense.
If you have any concerns regarding the discovery process of your Maryland DUI case, it is important to contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to help explain.
Beginning of the Process
The discovery process in a Maryland DUI case begins upon request by the defense. There are some things in discovery that prosecutors are required to turn over to the defense. An experienced lawyer requests everything immediately to put the prosecutors on notice that they wish to see everything associated with the case and will not give up the opportunity to explore and do a thorough investigation.
An attorney can seek discovery from the prosecution and also conducts their own independent investigation for the case. The defense has subpoena powers in the same way as the state. If the defense believes they are entitled to information that the state did not produce or does not believe they are required to investigate, the attorney can put their own investigation together to get these materials.
A subpoena is a request for information from the responding party or a request to have material presented, such as documents, testimonies, or things of that nature.
A subpoena can be used to ask witnesses to present testimony or to have documents, video surveillance, and similar things provided for the court proceedings. Subpoenas can be requested to access any kind of information the defense deems appropriate for presentation at trial to fully conduct their investigation.
Evidence that is discoverable includes police reports, information associated with evidence collected, testing of that evidence, background and conclusions of any expert witnesses, the expert witnesses’ qualifications, witness lists, witness statements, and everything that the state might use to try and prove their case. In addition, anything that they might use to present arguments that could be exculpatory to the defenses also to be turned over.
The request for discovery in a Maryland DUI case is given directly to the government. In fact, the court does not have a role in discovery unless the government is not compliant with discovery rules. The court can make determinations about the appropriate sanctions. An experienced DUI attorney always sends a copy of the requests for discovery to the court to make a record of the date the request was filed. The entire process goes through the government when they are presenting that discovery to the defense.
Contacting an Attorney
People should know that the discovery process in many Maryland DUI cases is not just a paper discovery. It is also discovery that could include video and audio surveillance and anything else that could assist the attorney in preparing the most appropriate defense for their client.
The sooner that the attorney can access the discovery, the more thorough they can be in their own investigation and responses to the state when it comes to court. A person should retain an attorney as soon as possible so that the investigation process can get underway immediately.