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Brady Disclosures

Brady Disclosures

You have heard of the Miranda warnings, but do you know about Brady disclosures? The Bill of Rights sets out the rights of defendants in criminal cases, but over the course of United States history, the Supreme Court has issued decisions outlining in more detail what police and prosecutors must do to uphold the rights of the defendant. For example, pursuant to Miranda v. Arizona, police officers making an arrest must inform the defendant of his or her right to remain silent and to be represented by a lawyer, regardless of whether the defendant can afford to pay for legal representation. The Brady disclosures also stem from a 1960s Supreme Court decision, namely Brady v. Maryland. Rather than relating to the initial questioning after an arrest, as in the Miranda case, Brady has to do with the pretrial discovery phase. In other words, pursuant to Brady, the Court cannot convict you at trial unless, before your trial, the prosecution reveals all the information that it must reveal in order to give you a fair chance of presenting a successful defense. 

Texas criminal defense lawyer can help you gather the information you need for a successful defense and speak up in the event of any unfair dealings by the prosecution.

Which Information Must Prosecutors Disclose to Defendants to Help Their Defense?

The time between your plea of not guilty and the beginning of your trial is the pretrial discovery phase. During this phase, the prosecution and defense exchange evidence that they plan to present at the trial. The prosecution must reveal any evidence that may support the defendant’s claim of innocence and which may cast doubt on the credibility of prosecution witnesses. These are some examples of Brady disclosures that prosecutors must make if they are applicable to your case:

· ​A prosecution witness agreed to testify as part of a plea deal or in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

· ​The prosecution must show you the arrest photograph police took of you so that you can compare it to the description of you that a prosecution witness who claims to have witnessed the crime will present at trial.

· ​Upon the defendant’s request, the prosecution must grant the defendant access to police records related to the case. This way, if the police have exculpatory evidence that they have not revealed, the defendant may use this evidence as part of his or her defenses.

· ​If a police officer involved in the case has a documented history of lying about cases in which he or she was involved, then the prosecution must notify the defendant of this.

Exercising your rights under Brady can help you get acquitted or get your charges dismissed. If you were wrongfully convicted because of a Brady violation, you have the right to appeal your conviction.

Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC About Criminal Defense Cases

Dallas, TX, criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the pretrial discovery phase of your case. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, in Dallas, Texas, to discuss your case.

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