Recently, just outside Upper Marlboro, Maryland, policymakers and leaders in Washington, D.C. were debating one of the most critical issues in criminal law: evidence disclosure. Most states, including Maryland, are strict about their fair disclosure requirements. This means that prosecutors must reveal to the criminal defense anything which may be beneficial to obtaining an acquittal.
It is not hard to imagine, however, how these rules can be ignored when a competitive prosecutor determines on his or her own that a piece of evidence doesn't really need to be shared with the accused. The policymakers' discussion set out to examine these instances and erase the blemish of wrongful convictions. Unfortunately, as they push for change, current criminal defendants are being prejudiced by the withholding of evidence.
The easiest answer to what information a criminal defendant is entitled to from the prosecution is this: everything. Local Upper Marlboro criminal defense attorneys know the rules as they relate to fair disclosure and routinely demand the release of information relevant to their clients' cases. This information proves time and time again to be pivotal in plea negotiation and reducing penalties.
Sometimes, of course, evidence is not revealed or not easily turned over. In such a case, local defense lawyers will aggressively pursue the release of evidence or a remedy for the failure to do so. This may include the dismissal or reversal of a conviction. If you or your child have been accused of a crime, and have questions about the prosecution's evidence or case against you, a local Upper Marlboro lawyer can answer your questions and defend against any charges.
Source: C-Span, "Evidence Disclosure in Criminal Cases," November 17, 2104