Just because you were charged with a crime does not mean you will be convicted and sentenced. As the accused, you have the right to a fair trial by an impartial jury. In order for you and your criminal defense attorney to put on the best defense strategy, the law requires the prosecution to disclose all evidence, including evidence favorable to the accused. This is known as the Brady Rule.
What Is the Brady Doctrine?
The Brady Rule, named after Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), requires prosecutors to disclose materially exculpatory evidence in the prosecution’s possession to the defense. This type of evidence that the government is required to disclose under the doctrine, referred to as a “Brady material,” is any evidence favorable to the accused that goes towards:
- Negating the defendant’s guilt
- Reducing the defendant’s potential sentence
- Credibility of a witness
The failure of the prosecution to disclose any exculpatory Brady material can lead to prejudice. If this happens, your Central Valley criminal defense attorney should move to suppress any such evidence, regardless of whether the prosecutor knew the evidence was in their possession or whether they intentionally or inadvertently withheld the evidence.
Moreover, in subsequent cases, the Supreme Court has ruled to eliminate the requirement for a defendant to have requested the favorable information. The Court ruled that the Prosecution has a constitutional duty to disclose. See Kyles v. Whitley 514 U.S. 419, 434 (1955); United States. v. Bagley, 473 U.S. 667 (1985).
The Consequences of Brady Violations Are Serious
Brady rule violations can have a serious impact on criminal cases. Such violations not only send potentially innocent people to prison, but they reinforce a win-at-all costs mentality that undermines the pursuit of justice. In many cases, these violations are not discovered until after a trial is over.
This is why it is so important to immediately hire a knowledgeable Central Valley criminal defense attorney to handle your case. An experienced attorney can help prevent such violations from happening in the first place. In the event that a Brady violation is discovered after trial is over, a lawyer can step in to file a Brady dispute, which can cause the court to set aside the resulting conviction.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in the Central Valley, it is in your best interest to immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you learn your legal rights and options.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Central Valley internet crime defense attorney Gurjit Srai, please call (209) 323-5558 or complete our online form.