If you need advice on criminal defense, call (603) 686-5454 to schedule a complimentary consultation with New Hampshire criminal defense lawyer Sven Wiberg.
Brady Motion: Disclosing Favorable Evidence to the Defense
Identities and statements made by witnesses are usually very important in a successful defense preparation. Given the importance of such evidence, the due process clause of the Constitution requires the prosecution to disclose identities of witnesses and any pertinent statements made by the witness to the defense. In order to get this necessary information, your New Hampshire criminal defense lawyer will first need to make a motion for such evidence, referred to as a Brady motion. This motion derives from the dictates of the U.S. Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), which ruled that exculpatory or impeaching information and evidence that is material to the guilt or innocence or to the punishment of a defendant must be disclosed to the defense. Suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to a defendant who has asked for it violates due process.
Specific Theory of Defense
For a Brady motion to be approved, the New Hampshire criminal defense lawyer needs to articulate a specific theory of defense that is based on specific witnesses. This approach requires the attorney to know exactly what and whom he is looking for when making the motion to the court.
Production of Witnesses
Whether the New Hampshire criminal defense lawyer can force the prosecution to produce statements made by key witnesses prior to trial depends on the jurisdiction where the case is being tried. While certain jurisdictions obligate the prosecution to disclose witness statements during discovery, other jurisdictions do not allow it until the time of trial.
Regardless of which jurisdiction the case is being tried in, a New Hampshire criminal defense lawyer can request in both a discovery letter and a motion for the prosecution to preserve any notes or drafts of witness interviews, for example. Attorney Wiberg requests such material as soon as he takes on a case.
For more information about a Brady motion or disclosing favorable evidence to the defense, call (603) 686-5454 to schedule a complimentary consultation with New Hampshire criminal defense lawyer Sven Wiberg.