What should a federal prosecutor provide you in discovery?
If a prosecutor charges you with a federal crime, you will probably attend a federal trial. There are a number of stages before getting to trial, including the initial hearing and the discovery stage. If your trial goes into discovery, you should know about your rights during the process as they may help you defeat the charges against you.
The U.S. Department of Justice website explains that the discovery phase is when the prosecutor prepares for the trial. This involves a number of actions which include gathering the facts of the case. As a defendant, you have certain rights to know what the prosecutor will present at trial.
Evidence and potential arguments
The discovery phase is also when defense counsel prepares to defend a person from charges, so your defense attorney must know what the prosecution plans to argue in court. In a federal case, a prosecutor must give the defendant copies of evidence and other information that forms the basis of the prosecution’s argument.
As the prosecution receives and analyzes new information, you should expect to receive these new facts as well. Prosecutors in federal cases could face sanctions from a judge if they do not provide new information, which may include fines.
A federal prosecutor could acquire evidence that harms the prosecution’s case. This kind of evidence is exculpatory evidence. If the prosecutor in your case has any evidence that shows that you are not guilty of the charges, you must receive it. Otherwise, the prosecutor is risking the validity of your trial. A judge might rule that you should receive a new trial or you might see the dismissal of the charges entirely.
Any information may help you
Since a conviction for committing a federal crime can result in a tough sentence, you should have all the information about your case that the law entitles you to have. Depending on the circumstances, you might learn from the available evidence that you can plead down charges to lesser offenses or try to get certain charges thrown out completely. Since federal charges vary, there are many different outcomes that could result.