The DA has physical evidence against me on a property receipt. I want to look at before trial. Can I do this?
In general, if you are being prosecuted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you have the right to discovery. Discovery is defined as any and all information that is reasonably related to your case. If that information is not in the Commonwealth's possession, the Commonwealth must get it for you if there is a chance that the evidence would show that you are innocent. If that information is not in the Commonwealth's possession, the Commonwealth does not have a duty to get it for you if it proves your guilt.
Therefore, if there is an item or items of evidence that the Commonwealth has in their possession that they claim that they may use against you at trial, you have a right to inspect it prior to trial.
From my experience, most counties and state agencies have a simple procedure for your lawyer to go and to inspect the items. If the DA or the Trooper refuses to allow this, your attorney can get an order from your trial judge to either allow the attorney to inspect the items, or to order the DA to have the items brought to the court room in advance of trial.
Labels: discovery, property receipt, prosecution