New York’s Criminal Discovery Law Reform

In April of last year, New York passed legislation that requires prosecutors to disclose all evidence early in case proceedings. This reform replaces an existing discovery law called the blindfold law, which barred defendants from access to much of the information the prosecution could use during the trial.

Beginning January 1, 2020, the discovery law will change the court process entirely. This new law requires prosecutors to disclose all items relevant to the case. This means prosecutors can no longer avoid disclosure by failing to write notes. Additionally, the law requires prosecutors to share all information they have on the case.

Examples of disclosed information include:

  • statements made by the defendant (and co-defendants);
  • statements made by witnesses;
  • names of relevant law enforcement officials;
  • all police reports and/or notes;
  • names and contact information of witnesses;
  • minutes of jury testimony;
  • any history of criminal activity from the defendants and/or witnesses;
  • expert witness names and background information;
  • expert witness reports;
  • a list of tangible property;
  • all electronic recordings;
  • any photographs and/or drawings;
  • all electronic evidence from computers and/or internet-based applications;
  • search warrants and/ or related documents;
  • reports and/or writings related to scientific examinations;
  • calibrations and/or testing reports; and/or
  • favorable evidence to the defendant.

This information must be provided to the defense no later than 15 days after the first court appearance. For some items, the prosecutor has up to 45 days to comply.

Criminal Defense You Can Count On

Attorney John A. Raimondo is passionate about defending your rights. If you were arrested for a crime, he can help you build a strong defense.

Call our firm at (914) 996-4511 or contact us online for your FREE case evaluation.