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Disclosing Identities of Witnesses in Criminal Cases

Sacramento criminal defense attorneyIn preparing a successful defense, it may be imperative for your Sacramento criminal defense attorney to obtain the identities of certain key witnesses. Some jurisdictions easily allow the defense to obtain witness identities through a simple discovery request. On the other hand, other jurisdictions do not have such criminal discovery rules, making it very difficult for attorneys to obtain the information they need.

When Criminal Discovery Rules Are No Help

When a jurisdiction’s criminal discovery rules do not allow the defense to request witness identities through discovery, the defense needs to make a motion to the court. In determining whether to mandate the disclosure of witness identities, the court will take certain factors into consideration, including:

  • Whether the alleged offense was violent in nature
  • Whether the defendant has ever been arrested or convicted of violent crime
  • Whether the relevant evidence consists of testimony relating to documents which cannot easily be altered
  • Whether the disclosure will deter the witness in question from testifying at trial
  • Whether the defense can afford to properly investigate and prepare its defense, given such information

Your Sacramento criminal defense attorney will need to provide sufficient evidence with regards to these factors to convince the court to force the prosecution to disclose the identities of the witnesses.

Contact Us

For more information about the criminal discovery rules regarding the disclosure of witness identities, speak with a Sacramento criminal defense attorney today by calling Param Pabla at (916) 285-7900.

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