One of the cardinal rules in all criminal cases is that the parties must not ‘hide their cards’. In other words, there is a ‘discovery’ process … and each side must let the other side know their game plan. Prosecutors must disclose all evidence in their possession whether it is helpful to their case or not. The seminal landmark case on point regarding this is Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). If you have not already seen it, the movie My Cousin Vinny does a great job pointing this rule out in an oh so funny way. It is a must see. Unfortunately a Snohomish County prosecutor apparently didn’t understand her duties in a relatively recent case. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/snohomish-county-deputy-prosecutor-sanctioned-for-lying-destroying-evidence-during-trial-of-shooting-suspect/ . The result of her error was that the case she was prosecuting was dismissed, and she was sanctioned by the judge presiding over the case. To boot, there may be more issues ahead for her … as undoubtedly the Washington Bar (the entity which gives lawyers their authority to practice law) may have a thing or two to say about her behavior. Rules are in place to be followed, not broken. That is true not just for defendants, but also for those prosecuting them. Playing fair and ‘within the lines’ is required in our criminal court system … even if sometimes the lines get a little blurred.
Lest it be said, if you or a loved one is facing criminal charges (for a DUI or otherwise), it is a very smart idea to immediately hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyer. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.