For many years, one of the most difficult aspects of any criminal defense in the state of New York was identifying and handling the prosecution’s evidence against a suspect. Now, however, the process of discovery is finally undergoing overdue reform hopefully leaving unfair evidence-sharing practices in the past.
A new law passed as a part of the recent state budget by Governor Cuomo acknowledges that prosecution teams for years neglected to properly share evidence with defense teams, and seeks to repair this problem. Under the new law, defendants now enjoy much more fair guidelines surrounding how prosecutors must share evidence favorable to the defendant in a timely manner.
If you face criminal charges, be sure that you understand all of the legal tools you have available to defend yourself. If you do not fully understand this new law and many like it, you may miss out on important protections to your rights, or may not identify important defenses you can use to fight the charges. An experienced defense attorney understands how to use the strength of the law to protect your rights and possibly throw out the charges altogether.
How does the new law benefit suspects?
For many years, district attorneys had a great deal of flexibility around when they had to deliver evidence to a suspect’s defense team. Practically speaking, this meant that many defense teams did not always have enough time to properly review all the evidence in a given case before either going to trial or accepting a plea bargain.
Because many defense teams did not have time to fully, properly assess all the relevant evidence, they often overlooked favorable evidence or failed to object to certain kinds of evidence. One needs only to look to the surprisingly high number of overturned convictions within the state justice system over the last several years to see what a serious problem this is.
Under the new law, defense teams may receive more complete evidence much more quickly, giving them the time to fully and appropriately prepare a defense against the charges.
Are you ready to build a strong defense?
If you face criminal charges, you must begin building your defense as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the less time you have to review the evidence against you and protect yourself. For the sake of your future liberty, be sure to make building a strong defense an immediate priority.