Motion for Supplemental Discovery
The process of gaining access to the prosecution’s evidence, known as discovery, is a critical aspect of drunk driving defense. An experienced California DUI lawyer from The Kavinoky Law Firm will seek access to every piece of evidence that may help a motorist accused of driving under the influence fight the charges. This is accomplished by filing a pretrial motion for supplemental discovery.
Motion for supplemental discovery is based on the notion that the defendant is entitled to receive all the information that will be used by prosecutors in their attempt to convict. Discovery has many purposes in a court case – it is designed to promote truth, save the court’s time, and to prevent an ambush at trial.
Certain evidence is turned over to the defense without a motion for supplemental discovery. The evidence that is typically turned over to the defense without a motion might include the names and addresses of prosecution witnesses, any statements made by the defendant, relevant evidence seized or obtained as part of the investigation, exculpatory evidence, results of scientific tests, and any written or recorded statements of witnesses whom the prosecutor intends to call at a prospective trial, including experts.
California DUI lawyers experienced in driving while intoxicated cases will use a request known as a Brady motion to seek any information held by the prosecution that may benefit the defendant. For an example, the California DUI lawyer might ask the prosecution to provide calibration and maintenance records for the breath testing machine used during the driver’s arrest. Additionally, a discovery motion may be made to obtain a portion of blood or urine samples – known as a "split" – in order to have the samples independently tested by a forensic toxicologist.
Other motions might include requests to the court to impose sanctions because the prosecution failed to preserve favorable evidence. This type of request is called a Trombetta / Youngblood motion. Another discovery request, known as a Pitchess motion, is designed to obtain the personnel records of the law enforcement officer involved in the arrest.
Discovery begins informally when both sides present a list of requested materials. If either side fails to comply with the informal discovery process, then opposing counsel can engage in formal discovery.
Formal discovery is overseen by the court. If either side fails to comply with formal discovery, the court can order sanctions and other penalties. Formal discovery is always preceded by informal discovery, except in the case of Pitchess motions.
A motion for supplemental discovery can be an effective tool in the hands of the right California DUI lawyers or attorneys. A California DUI Attorney with a proven track record of fighting and winning DUI / DWI cases can determine where supplemental discovery will advance the client’s drunk driving defense case.