Are you or someone you love the subject or target of a federal investigation? What evidence do they have against you?
If you find yourself being investigated for a federal crime, it’s unnerving. Most people, innocent or guilty, want to know what kind of evidence government agents have and can use to potentially put them in prison.
It is never a good idea to speak to law enforcement agents without a lawyer present. Still, many people decide to do so for this very reason. They want to find out what the agents think they did and how the government can prove it.
For so many people, speaking to agents can turn out to be a disaster. However, there is a better way to find out what they have. It is called discovery.
Evidence Against You: What Is Discovery?
Discovery means that you will get the right to see the evidence against you.
During questioning in the investigation phase, agents don’t have to tell you anything. They can and do lie to people all the time to prod them into giving self-incriminating testimony.
However, during discovery, the other side must present its evidence. There is more. If the prosecution has evidence that points to your innocence, it must disclose that evidence as well.
Federal laws mandate discovery, and it is one of the significant advantages of hiring an experienced lawyer. He or she will know how and when to obtain this information.
During the discovery phase, she will see a much clearer picture of the government’s case against you and will know how to use it to your advantage.
What Information is Included in Discovery?
Keep in mind that the prosecution does not have to lay out its whole case for your attorney. However, many of the pieces will be there. During discovery, both sides must disclose:
- Oral and written statements
- Recorded statements
- Grand Jury testimony
- Examination information
- Names of expert witnesses with a summary of their testimony
- Exculpatory evidence (evidence that favors the other side)
Of the evidence the prosecution has gathered, it does not have to disclose witness statements or attorney work product. If the prosecuting attorney fails to show some information or doesn’t comply with the discovery rules, your attorney can have the court order the prosecution to disclose it.
The court can also grant more time to review or prevent some or all evidence from being used in court. However, any of this can only happen if you have an expert lawyer who can use the evidence to build your case.
When Can You Have Access to Discovery Information?
In some cases, your lawyer may be able to negotiate early access to some evidence gained by the prosecution. In cases where you expect to work out a plea deal, it’s more likely you’d get early discovery.
However, the prosecution can limit what evidence you see, so it may not help your case. If you expect to go to trial, you are more likely to see the evidence after you’ve been charged with a crime.
Experienced Federal Attorney in Michigan
Whether you are dealing with the FBI, IRS, DEA, or any other federal agency, call my office today for your free consultation.
I have the experience to help you limit the amount of evidence the government can gain against you, and use it to your best advantage in the end.
Don’t wait another day, even if you are under investigation. Let me work for you to get you the outcome you deserve.