You may read our webpage and you see the phrase, “extended discovery.” We seek what we call “extended discovery” in all our Baltimore Criminal defense cases. What exactly does that mean? Maryland Rule 4-262 and 263 govern discovery in the District Court and Circuit Court of Maryland, respectively. You can read more about the standard rules of discovery here.
Extended Discovery: Why is it extended?
Extended discovery is a term that ENlawyers uses to describe reports, statements, documents, tapes, or other information that may be helpful to our client’s case but is not required by the standard rules of discovery to be disclosed over by the State’s Attorney’s Office. This may be either because they are blissfully unaware of the document’s existence or they are blindly ignorant that the document may be exculpatory towards our client. This, of course, is despite the fact that according to a Supreme Court case called Brady v. Maryland (and its progeny) the State MUST turn over such information if the information is “within their control.” Often the State will argue that they lack a responsibility to turn over such information outside of their control. Often, judges will side with the State. But that doesn’t mean that a good lawyer shouldn’t fight to get the documents you need to fight your case.
Extended Discovery: How you get it
There are two methods ENlawyers uses to get extended discovery materials:
- Demand it from the State’s Attorney’s Office (saying “please” usually doesn’t work).
- Subpoena the materials ourselves from an outside entity (a subpoena is a court order, signed by a clerk or a judge, demanding the production of a person or thing).
From a practical perspective, using a subpoena is the quickest and easiest way to force disclosure of documents and if the person from whom the documents are sought fails to comply, they can be “compelled” by a court (which means they can be thrown in jail for not listening to the subpoena).
Extended Discovery: What we’re looking for
Each case is different, but we routinely subpoena the following items as extended discovery materials:
- Surveillance video from CCTV
- 911 tapes
- police communication recordings (called KGA tapes)
- Intoximeter records, including repair history
- Recorded insurance statements
- Insurance records
Again, each case is a bit different; and of course obtaining these records often costs clients time and money, so we are careful to obtain records that only will help your case! Once we get them, we can analyze them and determine if they are beneficial to your case. If they are not, we are under no obligation to turn them over to the State (remember it is their job to prove you guilty, not yours).
Extended Discovery: The bottom line
You need to hire a Baltimore Criminal Defense lawyer who will attack the state’s case from every possible angle, and going after evidence that will bolster your case is just one (but an often overlooked one). If you find yourself charged with a Baltimore, Howard, or Harford crime, don’t leave anything to chance and hire ENlawyers.