English English Español Español

What Is “Discovery” In A Criminal Case?

Jump to a Section

If you have been charged with a crime, it is common for a process called ‘discovery’ to follow. During this time, your lawyer will probably collect important evidence from the prosecution for your defense.

You may be wondering what discovery is and how it will affect your case. Learning some facts about discovery and a defense lawyer’s role in this stage could help you ask the right questions when hiring a Tampa criminal law attorney.

Did you know that after your arrest, you are entitled to have access to evidence that would be in your favor and significant or ‘material’ in pointing to a criminal conviction? Otherwise, the prosecution could be violating an important rule of evidence, known as a Brady Violation.

If you are in legal trouble, we can meet with you for a free legal consultation to discuss your case. Call our office in Tampa at (813) 229-5353 or fill out and submit an online form to get started.

Why Is Discovery Part of a Criminal Case?

In preparation for a trial, both the prosecution (The State of Florida) and the defense will prepare evidence to present for either side. The attorney representing the State will usually have what is called the ‘burden of proof’.

Having this burden means that the State must present evidence to the jury to prove that a defendant is guilty–beyond any reasonable doubt. On the other hand, the defense does not technically have to prove anything.

However, a smart defense attorney may still go through the process of collecting evidence in discovery and presenting it at your trial to help the jury see that there is reasonable doubt of guilt. This is how key pieces of evidence from a defense team can change the course of a trial and, hopefully, avoid conviction for you.

Does Discovery Help or Hurt My Defense?

To prevent surprises at trial and keep fairness involved, the defense and prosecution will usually trade relevant information and evidence during discovery. Documents that are often exchanged in discovery could include:

  • public records
  • police reports
  • lab results
  • experimental or scientific data
  • deposition testimony from witnesses, and
  • witness lists

With the help of an attorney, you could discuss how these pieces of evidence like the ones above could impact your case. That may help you decide whether you want to go through with a trial or seek a plea bargain or another option that may be available.

Of course, not everything is exchanged during discovery. Your attorney’s ‘work product,’ which is often based on the evidence, may be kept private from the prosecution, which can be a help to you.

If you have been arrested or accused of a crime and need help, we are here for you. Your online form can be submitted 24/7 or you can call our office right away on Azeele Street in Tampa at (813) 229-5353 to talk about your case.

Determining whether discovery will help or hurt your case can really depend on a lot of factors and facts that may be unique to your case. This is why hiring an attorney can be a huge benefit to your future–they can evaluate your particular situation and then explain your possible case outcomes and legal options.

Why Daniel J. Fernandez, P.A. is the Best Choice

The exchange of discovery can bring out some major strengths and weaknesses in your case. Having an attorney process all that information and figure out how to use it in your favor may help you avoid conviction.

When the stakes are high, you may not want to take a chance with your future. Our first-time consultations are totally free and there is no commitment required from you.

Time may be an important element for your defense, so we recommend that you reach out to an experienced criminal lawyer right away. Contact us immediately so we can protect your case and legal rights as the accused.

Call (813) 229-5353 or send us your case form online anytime. We are happy to offer our services to help you.

Daniel J. Fernandez

Daniel J. Fernandez

Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez defends individuals charged with a misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses throughout the Tampa Bay area and the State of Florida.

Contact Us Today

Do you need legal assistance related to Criminal Defense Tips? Contact us today to get started.

Recent Publications

Have you been arrested? We can help.

Daniel J. Fernandez has successfully defended over 500 clients in trial over the course of his 43-year career as a criminal defense and trial lawyer in Tampa. He will fight for your freedom.

Contact Us

Tell us about your situation and we will do everything we can to help you. Our team is standing by to take your message and provide you with legal guidance. We will fight for your rights.

New Website!

You’ve been redirected from our old website:

Welcome to our new website:

Bookmark this page!

Communities We Defend