The Texas Senate voted to pass a new law, SB 1611, requiring prosecutors to provide criminal defense lawyers, among other important things, “any evidence relevant to the defendant’s guilt or punishment.” Today prosecutors are not required by state law to provide evidence (except “exculpatory information”) to defense lawyers unless ordered by the court. Many Texas prosecutors have some form of open-file policy, but these policies vary from county-to-county. Prosecutors with “closed-file” policies often conceal police reports and other documentary evidence generated by the police until trial. Under the Texas Rules of Evidence, the defense lawyer is not entitled to see these reports until after an officer testifies in court. See Brandi Grissom’s report on the story here. And remember, a good College Station Criminal Defense Lawyer can help you resolve discovery issues involved with your criminal case.
Stephen Gustitis is a criminal defense lawyer in Bryan-College Station. He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is also a husband, father, and retired amateur bicycle racer.