Steps in criminal cases: Discovery and Pretrial Negotiations
After a plea is entered the District Attorney provides discovery, which includes police reports, witness statements, photographs and any audio or video recordings taken during the course of the criminal investigation. It is not uncommon for supplemental reports to be exchanged during the course of the case.
When reviewing the police reports, it is important keep in mind the perspective of the author and the information known at the time of the investigation. Often times the reports are one-sided, which requires taking time to speak with clients and get their side of the story. During investigations important pieces of information may be overlooked or deemed not important enough to follow up on. Sometimes the police reports have inaccuracies that adversely affect clients. Additionally, reports are sometimes lacking important information, which requires additional investigation on behalf of clients. Throughout the pretrial phase, it is always important to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the case and file any necessary pretrial motions. Mistakes are sometimes made during the course of law enforcement intervention, which must be addressed by way of filing motions and negotiations.
Pretrial conferences are informal meetings with the district attorney to discuss the case, exchange information and engage in settlement discussions when appropriate. Having an experienced team of legal professionals to help you navigate the criminal court process is vital and there is a lot to lose if your liberty is in jeopardy. If you find yourself along and accused of committing a crime, call our experienced legal team at Hawley, Kaufman & Kautzer today!