Criminal Attorneys Aren't Just for Criminals

What to Know About Criminal Discovery Techniques

by Eva Holmes

The road to innocence can be long, but putting up a proper defense is always well worth it. You might not be aware of certain legal maneuvers going on behind the scenes, but some of them are extremely important nevertheless. One major maneuver that can add months to the legal process is discovery. For a better understanding of how this pre-trial practice affects your case, read on to learn more.

Discovery and Fair Trials

Moving forward with a trial means that you probably have a great deal of confidence that you will be afforded a fair and just trial by the legal justice system. A fair trial is not always a given, and it can take a lot of preparation before the opening day of court. Pre-trial moves like discovery assure that both sides begin the trial with a full understanding of the facts of the case. Those facts are ascertained using several discovery methods. Knowing things ahead of time helps lawyers plan their cases. For example, if your lawyer knows that the state will put a certain witness on the stand, they can be ready to discredit that witness by investigating them and questioning them until the impact of their testimony is lessened.

Discovery and Evidence

It's proper for both sides to submit a list of witnesses and evidence during the discovery process. That not only provides the lawyers time and opportunity to prepare for trial but it also could work in your favor in another way. As your lawyer builds a case for your innocence, they do so with evidence. That evidence can be almost anything from people to videos, email transcripts, receipts, and so much more. As all those things are submitted during discovery, things can become clearer to the state. What might have been a great case against you could begin to look less so. That is where a plea bargain might come in.

Plea Bargains and Discovery

Almost all criminal matters are resolved with a plea bargain. Cases can end in an instant by the defendant pleading guilty and avoiding a trial. You certainly don't have to arrive at the discovery stage to be offered a plea bargain, but many cases do settle during discovery. In some cases, a plea bargain is a great deal for the defendant. You must discuss any deals with your defense lawyer before agreeing to anything.

Your part in the discovery process is vital. Speak to your criminal lawyer to learn more about the deposition, document requests, questionnaires, and other aspects of discovery.