Thomas G. WitkopLaw Offices

Law Offices

the prosecution's discovery violations cost them their case

While waiting to try my DWI case I watched the following occur before Judge Richard Collins in the Hyattsville District Court. The defendant was charged with DWI. Defense attorney entered his appearance in August of 2009 and requested discovery. The trial date was September of 2009. In writing, the defense attorney asked to continue the September court date because there was no discovery provided and this request was granted. Thereafter, the defense attorney called the prosecutors several times looking for discovery and each time was advised that it would be coming. The trial prosecutor made the last promise on November 13 and faxed the usual DWI report and the like on December 1 (one day before trial).

Defendant and attorney show up for trial and he moves to dismiss or in the alternative preclude testimony of the officer or for a state's continuance. He argues that he has suffered prejudice because he could not timely prepare with this late notice. He could not go to the scene of the stop with his client, et cetera. Judge Collins dismisses the case based on the fact that the last time the case was continued because of discovery violations. He did not seem to have much trouble dismissing the case either.
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