Discovery Process in Dedham OUI Cases
The discovery process in Dedham OUI cases is mandated by statute. The Commonwealth or the District Attorney’s Office is required to provide any information, exculpatory or inculpatory, to the defendant.
This means any 911 tapes, any statements by witnesses, any reports made by police officers, or booking videos. They are required to provide that to credible defense counsel. Anything that they intend to use at trial must be provided.Initiating the Discovery Process
Attorneys often begin the discovery process in Dedham OUI cases, as soon as they enter into the case. Typically, the Commonwealth will request a pretrial date and on that date they provide whatever discovery they have.
Sometimes the District Attorney’s office will request a discovery in compliance date, which is a date that comes after the pretrial. If they have been unable to gather all of the evidence, they ask for this additional date to get all that together to provide to defense counsel.Requirements to Filing Discovery
The discovery must be provided by the Commonwealth. However, the defense attorney can seek out discovery in any way that it finds appropriate. A person can request additional reports from a police department if they have reason to believe they exist.
A defense attorney can file a rule 17 motion if there are documents such as cell phone records or medical records of someone involved that are not easily procured without an order from the court. Defense attorneys can do that as well.
As long as the order is allowed by the judge, they can subpoena either medical records from another party that was involved or surveillance video. That can all be done through a motion to the court. As part of the discovery process in Dedham OUI cases, a defense attorney can request witness information, medical records from the accused.How Law Enforcement Handles the Discovery Process
Typically, Dedham law enforcement will provide the discovery to the District Attorney’s office rather than providing it directly to defense counsel. Some evidence that discoverable materials might include are:
- Police reports
- Witness Statements
- 911 calls
- Booking videos
- Distant medical records
- Surveillance videos
Most of the time, the original report will be provided to the court and to the District Attorney’s Office and then upon request, they will provide additional discovery, such as the booking video or the 911 call. At that point, the District Attorney will provide it to the defense counsel.How Can a Request for Discovery be Submitted?
If the defense thinks there is possible evidence could be destroyed, that request should be made through the courts so that the Police Department is on notice and ordered by the court about whatever evidence needs to be preserved. Other types of evidence that are more routine can be requested to the government.
The government makes most of the requests. They reach out to the police department to ensure that evidence is provided in a timely way, and then they provide it to defense counsel.Defining the Role of a Subpoena in Court
A subpoena is a court order either ordering a person to appear in court or ordering the documents to be provided to the court. There are two really common circumstances in which a subpoena is used. The first is subpoenaing witnesses.
If there is a witness who might not appear on their own, they could be sent a subpoena to ensure their appearance at court. The other circumstance is a subpoena for records, which can be done for surveillance tapes that could show the area where the person was pulled over or where they performed the field sobriety test, and it can be used for medical records as well.
It is important to hire a lawyer who knows the discovery process in Dedham OUI cases and how to present that information in court. If the evidence is a booking video, often those can be really helpful for a defendant in an OUI case.