You have been arrested and now you want to know what the police alleged you did that forms the criminal allegations against you. Some people accused of a crime will get them by going down to the police department or sheriff's office, but that is not the best method to get the information you need to defend yourself against criminal charges. The accused individual can also file a public record request, but law enforcement will usually object on the grounds that the police reports are exempted under public records law pursuant to an open criminal investigation. This objection occurs even though the arrest has been made and there is no further investigation being conducted by the police.
When you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney such as myself, I file a "Demand for Discovery" pursuant to the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure demanding the prosecutor turn these police reports over to me. These are the essential building blocks of defending your reputation and you against the criminal charges.
Can a person accused of a crime file their own discovery demand? Yes, but I have had clients do this before the retain me, but the State Attorney (prosecutor) did not comply with their demands for the police reports. The Defendant must file a written request on the prosecutor pursuant to the Florida criminal rules of procedure. Once filed, the prosecutor has 20 days to turn the police reports and list of evidence over to the accused.
What police reports do I get? People arrested are entitled to valuable information through the criminal discovery process including:
- The prosecutor's witness list of witnesses with information regarding the crime
- Copies of the police reports
- Information whether a witnesses gave a statement, including whether there is a written or recorded statement
- Whether the accused made a statement
- Whether a co-defendant made a statement
- Whether there is any grand jury testimony
- Whether there was any search and seizure
- Whether a confidential informant was involved in the arrest or criminal investigation
- Whether there was any electronic surveillance conducted by law enforcement
- Whether there is an expert being used by the prosecutor and a copy of his credentials and report
- A list of the prosecutor's exhibits to be used at trial
- Whether there is any DNA evidence
- Whether there is any evidence that negates the guilt of the arrested person (Brady evidence)
If the evidence is not listed in, turned over, or made available to the person arrested and listed in the State Attorney's Response to the Defendant's Demand for Discovery, the prosecutor may not be able to use it against you at your criminal jury trial. That is why it is so important to file this Demand for Discovery.
The criminal Discovery also allows an experienced criminal defense lawyer Thomas Grajek to start looking at your case and seeing what defenses you may have. It allows an aggressive criminal attorney to determine whether there is a motion to suppress evidence in your criminal case. Better yet, do the police reports indicate you may have a motion to dismiss the criminal charges against you? Filing a Demand for Discovery and filing motions is just one of the many things aggressive criminal defense attorney Thomas Grajek does to protect your rights and get you the best result in your criminal case.
When the outcome of a criminal arrest can affect your freedom and life, it is important for you to have someone on your side fighting for you in court!
CALL NOWAND SPEAK TO AN EXPERIENCED, AGGRESSIVE POLK COUNTY CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
EXPERIENCED IN ALL CRIMINAL CASES
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You will not have to drive to another county. Office - Lakeland, Polk County, FL.
Thomas C. Grajek 863-688-4606
Handling all criminal cases in Polk County, Florida including Bartow, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Auburndale, Haines City, and Davenport.