Discovery

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DISCOVERY.  This is the process of the case where your lawyer is obtaining evidence from the prosecutor and going through that evidence.  It might involve looking at documents, talking to witnesses, sending subpoenas to third parties, or taking depositions.  In some cases, your lawyer might even want to hire a private investigator to look for evidence to help in defending you.  You and your lawyer are entitled to see every bit of evidence the State has, especially if it’s exculpatory (meaning evidence that makes you look innocent).  The discovery process will vary depending on your case and the types of evidence that might be available.  This may be completed by the time of your first pretrial, or you may want to request a continuance so that you will have more time to complete the discovery.  There may also be a need to compel witnesses to come in and give a formal pretrial statement, called a deposition.
You should carefully discuss with your attorney the pros and cons of conducting discovery or taking depositions.  It is important for your lawyer to know everything you know about the evidence BEFORE they start digging deeper so they know what to look for and who to talk with.