KSWO Channel 7 in Lawton, Oklahoma has an new article discussing evidence in criminal cases. Specifically, the article includes a discussion by a Texas attorney of what evidence the prosecution is required to turn over in criminal cases.
The lawyer describes several misconceptions that criminal accuseds and criminal defendants make. First, they assume that the evidence turned over by the state is the only evidence that can be used against them. As the criminal defense lawyer notes: the state is not required to tell defendants or their attorneys everything that a witness will testify about. Second, the state is not required to tell the defense counsel how it intends to use a given piece of evidence.
A great summary is included that makes clear why anyone accused of a crime must have a criminal defense attorney:
It takes an experienced criminal defense attorney to fill in these blanks, but even the best lawyers cannot anticipate everything that will happen at trial. The best defense lawyers know that there will be unexpected testimony and surprises at every trial, and they take that into account in evaluating the case as well as preparing for trial. There are almost never depositions in criminal cases, and many witnesses will not talk to the defense before trial, so a defense lawyer may not have a great sense of how the witness will come across during testimony. Sometimes, a witness turns out to be more credible than you expected. Sometimes, a witness might be less certain about what really happened or admit to having a poor memory of the event. Good lawyers know trials involve uncertainty. They have to be able to adjust their approach and strategy when there are surprises.