What is Discovery in a DUI Case?


The term discovery is a very important legal term you should familiarize yourself with if you have just been arrested for a DUI. This legal term can make or break your defense against the DUI charges. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure you understand the terminology so it is not foreign to you as you go through the legal system. 


An experienced criminal defense attorney, like one at Stechschulte Nell Law, understands what discovery is and how important it is to a DUI case. They know how to request the evidence that will provide you with a fair defense and use the evidence to your benefit. 



What is Discovery? 


Simply put, discovery is the process by which evidence is obtained. Discovery is the foundation of the American justice system and its purpose is to ensure fairness and to give the defendant the chance to request and review all the evidence that may be used against them by the prosecution. 


Discovery is used before a trial begins and involves the process of requesting and “discovering” all evidence the prosecution has on the case. This evidence can be used against you, but it may also be used to help your case. A great DUI attorney can use the discovery process in their favor to help prepare strong defenses, find loopholes, and reveal procedural errors and mistakes to possibly turn the entire case around in the defense’s favor. 



Related > What is Probable Cause for a DUI in Florida? 



 How a DUI Defense Attorney Uses Discovery  


It was not until recently, that discovery was made to be available to both the prosecution and the defense. In the past, prosecutors would hold on to certain types of evidence and keep it a secret until trial. They would use this evidence as a “gotcha” move, trying to catch the defense off guard, because the defense would not be able to respond to this “new” evidence appropriately—not because the defendant was guilty, but because they were simply surprised by this undiscovered evidence. 


Now, the defense can request all evidence before a trial begins so both sides are on the same playing field. A good DUI defense attorney will use discovery evidence to show that you were not driving under the influence. They will research your case to show support for your innocence and research the prosecution’s case to find deficiencies.  


Examples of this may include: 




Related > What is Included in a DUI Police Report  



What are the Types of Discovery? 


In a DUI case, there are three main types of discovery. These include document production, written discovery, and depositions. Whether these types of evidence are through documents, in written form, oral form, or physical form they are all crucial to the defense team. 


A DUI defense attorney can request almost any type of evidence. Some of the most common requests in a DUI case may include: 



  • Witness information: names, contact information, copies of witness statements (i.e., servers, bartenders, etc.), secondhand reports 
  • Statements that the defendant gave to police 
  • Hard evidence: DUI breath test results, blood sample analysis, photos, or videos of the arrest (dash cam and body cam footage) 
  • Previous records: any prior convictions, especially felonies, that can be used against you 
  • Any evidence that is favorable to your defense or may implicate someone else 



Related > Know Your Rights During a DUI Stop  



Arrested for a DUI? Make Sure You Request All the Evidence 


A DUI conviction has serious penalties, including mandatory jail time. If this is not your first DUI arrest, the consequences are even more serious. A DUI charge is not something you should go through alone. 


Contact Stechschulte Nell Law today at (813) 280-1244 for a free DUI case consultation. Let us take care of the confusing legal phrases and terminology during the discovery process before it is too late for your case and you are blindsided by the evidence that is used against you by the prosecution.  


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