New York State Law regarding Discovery in New York State just underwent a major overhaul. These reforms are codified under Article 245 of the Criminal Procedure Law. The new laws went into effect on January 1st, 2020. Here is a breakdown of what has changed:
THE NEW LAW CHANGES THE PROCESS BY MANDATING OPEN DISCOVERY
Under the old laws, the prosecution did not have mandatory disclosure until late in the process…typically until hearings or trial. This process forced most defendant’s to make decisions and enter plea agreements without knowing what evidence the District Attorney had against them.
THE NEW LAW MANDATES EARLY DISCLOSURE
Under Criminal Procedure Law Section 245, the District Attorney now has only 15 day from the date of arraignment to turn all evidence in their
At the very least, the prosecutor must provide the following materials, at least to the extent that such materials are within his possession, custody, or control:
- Statements made by the defendant and co-defendants
- Statements made by witnesses
- Names and affiliations of all law enforcement personnel
- Police reports and notes
- Names and contact information of prosecution and defense witnesses
- Minutes of all grand jury testimony
- Criminal history of defendants and witnesses
- Expert witness names and background information
- Expert witness reports
- List of tangible property
- Tapes and electronic recordings
- Photographs and drawings
- Electronic information from computers and internet-based applications
- Search warrants and related documents
- Reports and writings relating to scientific testing and examination
- Calibration and testing reports
- Evidence favorable to the defendant (Brady information)
This Process requires a “Certificate of Compliance”
The manner in which the prosecution discloses information now requires that they certify their compliance. This certificate guarantees that the prosecution has exercised due diligence and provided the defendant with all known material under CPL Section 245. The prosecution can no longer announce trial readiness without the certificate of compliance.
On the other side, the defendant must also provide discoverable material within 30 days after the defense files a certificate of compliance. This information includes electronic recordings, potential witnesses, expert witnesses, scientific reports, tangible property, and photographs or drawings.
If you have questions regarding your criminal case and its effect on the Discovery Laws, contact Chris Brown Law at (607) 988-3131. We provide aggressive representation for DWI, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, and Traffic Tickets in Broome, Tioga, Cortland, and Delaware County.