DISCOVERY

Many District Attorney offices provide "open file" discovery, meaning the defendant's attorney can obtain a complete copy of the District Attorney's file. This includes the police case file, audio-video recordings, witness list, crime lab reports and anything else. The defendant may file a motion for discovery if the prosecution does not voluntarily provide it. Discovery procedures are quite different in Federal Court but the purpose is the same: to inform the defendant of the evidence against him and provide opportunity to defend.