Discovery Process in Mecklenburg County DUI Cases
The discovery process in Mecklenburg County DUI cases will not begin until the accused has hired a lawyer. From the moment of being hired, the attorney will contact the courts and the prosecutor and will reach out to the prosecutor for the opportunity to review the discovery (the evidence that will be presented against the accused in court). The defense attorney is also going to seek additional evidence from law enforcement, any witnesses to the arrest or the circumstances leading up to the arrest, as well as from the accused.
The rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia provide fairly narrow discovery rights for the accused and their attorney. However, many prosecutors locally are willing to provide open-file discovery that allows for the defendant’s attorney to review the evidence that will be presented against the accused in court.
If you have been charged with a DUI, contact a seasoned lawyer who is experienced with the discovery process.
Discoverable Evidence in DUI Cases
There are several pieces of evidence that could be discoverable in a DUI case. The materials that could be discovered include:
- Results from a breath test
- Results from a blood test
- Any basis for, or affidavits in support of, a warrant for a blood test for a DUI
- The calibration records of any equipment that was used (breathalyzer machine, etc.)
- Records from the lab regarding how the tests were conducted if the blood test was submitted for analysis
- Dashcam footage from the arresting officer
- Bodycam footage from the arresting officer
- Any evidence that would tend to be exculpatory and possibly exonerate the accused
How Does Law Enforcement Handle the Discovery Process?
When it comes to the discovery process in Mecklenburg County DUI Cases, it is imperative to understand that the government is the holder of the discovery. They obtain and file all discoverable materials because they are the government agency that will be prosecuting the case. Therefore, they are the gatekeepers to all discoverable materials.
Usually, Mecklenburg County law enforcement has body cameras and dash cameras that they submit to the prosecutors. Law enforcement also tends to provide a brief report related to each DUI arrest. Law enforcement tends to be very forthcoming with the prosecutors in Mecklenburg and prosecutors provide open-file discovery to the defense lawyers.
A request for discovery can be requested directly to the prosecutor without going through the court. However, defense attorneys do have the opportunity to file motions through the court if they are having difficulty obtaining the discovery they are entitled to via the court rules.
Subpoenas in DUI Cases
A subpoena is a court order for a witness to appear in court. If the witness does not appear in court, there are consequences. A subpoena could be used in a DUI case to ensure the appearance of any witnesses who observed the circumstances leading to the DUI arrest. A Subpoena Duces Tecum is a court order for the production of documents to be filed with the court so that those documents might be presented in court as well.
Call a Mecklenburg County Lawyer About the Discovery Process
It is crucial that people understand that discovery is very limited by law in Virginia in that defense attorneys are at the mercy and leniency of prosecutors when they seek to obtain discovery for all information and evidence that might be used against an accused in court. However, local prosecutors will usually allow attorneys to review discovery. Discovery is an important process because it allows the accused and the attorney for the accused to understand what might be presented against them in court.
Call today to learn more about the discovery process in Mecklenburg County DUI cases and how a lawyer could help you.