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You Have The Right To Transparency About The Prosecution’s Case Against You


A criminal trial should be more like a game of chess or checkers and less like a game of Mastermind, Stratego, or Battleship.  In other words, you should be able to see all of your opponent’s pieces at all times.  Both sides must choose their strategy based on evidence that is available to both of them and will eventually become available to the jury.  The pretrial discovery phase of a criminal case is when the prosecution reveals the evidence that it plans to present to the jury at your trial.  Your role is to decide how to cast doubt on this evidence; for example, you might be able to present an alibi defense or argue that the evidence leaves so many unanswered questions that it does not clearly connect you to the crime.  You might also ask the judge to exclude some of the evidence if you determine that the prosecution obtained it illegally.  The Supreme Court decision Brady v. Maryland lists certain pieces of information that prosecutors must disclose to defendants during pretrial discovery in order to give them a fair chance to present convincing defenses.  To find out more about Brady disclosures, contact a West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer.

Brady v. Maryland Ensures Defendants a Fair Chance to Build Their Defenses

Brady v. Maryland was one of the Supreme Court decisions of the 1960s that added more specific instructions about what the state must do to respect the rights of defendants in criminal cases.  It stipulates that the state must disclose to defendants any information that could be relevant to their defense, especially when the defendant requests this information.  These are some examples of how Brady disclosures work in practice:

  • You have the right to review police records related to your case. This way, you may find out exculpatory information that the police have not even revealed to the State Attorney’s office.
  • If a witness has testified before a grand jury, or plans to testify at trial, that he or she saw you around the time of the arrest and provides a physical description of you, you may obtain a copy of your arrest photo to compare it to the description given by the witness.
  • You have the right to know if a witness agreed to testify pursuant to a plea deal or in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
  • You have the right to know if any of the officers who worked on your case have a documented history of lying about criminal cases.

If you were wrongfully convicted, it is worthwhile to contact a criminal defense lawyer to review the prosecution’s evidence from your trial in order to see if Brady disclosures would have changed the outcome of your case.

Contact a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Attorney William Wallshein has more than 38 years of experience, including five years as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County.  Contact William Wallshein P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida to discuss your case.



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