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Discover Fauquier December 2018
27
into a plea agreement and taking the
case to trial. Advocates for expanding
discovery praise the rule as a step closer
to ending trial by ambush, while opponents
argue that it places a higher burden on
the prosecution, and that it will lead to
increased expenses. The law will bring
Virginia criminal discovery rules more in
line with the rest of the country.
Joseph R. Pricone serves as counsel for
individuals in all matters relating to criminal
defense, including representation on
felony offenses,
m i s d e m e an o r
offenses, traffic
i n f r a c t i o n s ,
investigations, and
appeals. Contact
Mark B. Williams
& Associates for
more information.
Ending a nearly three year debate, the
Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that
those accused of committing criminal
offenses will be entitled to inspect evidence
relevant to his or her case including police
reports, written witness statements,
written summaries of statements made by
witnesses, and a list of witnesses expected
to testify for the prosecution. The new
discovery rule, taking effect in July of
next year, also requires the defense to
turn over its witness list to the prosecution
before trial. Prior to the enactment of the
new rule, criminal defendants were only
entitled to review statements made by the
defendant, tangible evidence, and written
reports of scientifi c tests.
The rule will expand a defendant's
knowledge of the case against him or
her aiding in pretrial preparation, and
will enhance the defendant's ability to
cross-examine law enforcement offi cers
and eye witnesses at trial. It will also help
defendants decide between entering
By Joseph R. Pricone
Attorney, Mark B. Williams &
Associates
Virginia Expands
Criminal Defendants'
Rights to Inspect
Evidence Prior to Trial
540-347-5895
Hours:
Mon - Fri 10 am-6 pm
Sat 9 am-Noon
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