Individuals who are facing criminal charges have a right to a criminal lawyer during the trial. The criminal defence lawyer will explain the legal procedure and provide the defendant with an idea on what to expect based on the circumstances of the case. Witnesses can be called upon to support the defence and evidences can be presented to court.
At the start of the new decade, things look good for criminal defendants in New York because of the new state law that requires prosecutors to turn over their evidence which includes the names of witnesses and their contact information to the defence within 15 days of arraignment.
In the past, there was no specific time frame for prosecutors to comply so that defendants don’t often get the information until just before trial. With the early turnover of discovery, a city prosecutor is concerned with the potential for witness intimidation. When information is turned over at an early point in the prosecution, a defendant may be inclined to identify and intimidate the witness.
Staten Island DA Michael McMahon has started to send out letters to witnesses to warn them that their names, emails or phone numbers will be handed over to the defence. McMahon wants the public to protest the move to their lawmakers because it endangers public safety and innocent people could get hurt.
There are provisions included in the new law that allow judges to hold back information from the defence. There are sensitive cases where the witness safety is at risk. The time frame in handing over evidence is also dangerous because it provides more opportunity to threaten and harm the witness. People may refuse to cooperate at all.
There are defendants who are planning for retribution against people who have ratted them out. Many defendants wouldn’t care if their assumption is true as long as they can take their revenge.
Being accused of a crime is very frustrating that you are often tempted to make an emotional decision that can alter your life. It is important to seek the assistance of a criminal lawyer quickly prior to making any decision. The lawyer will ensure that all your rights will be protected when facing prosecution.