This whole concept of a Brady motion has to do with the prosecutors and the police turning over inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. Meaning, the prosecutors and police must turn over evidence they're going to use to try to prosecute a defendant in a DUI case and evidence that might help a DUI defendant in a case in Los Angeles County.
So, what we're seeing when we're talking about Brady motions and Brady violations is defense attorneys in DUI cases saying, hey look – we know you have this evidence. We need it.
Prosecutors Have a Duty To Turn Over Evidence
In other words, how about a dashcam on the police vehicle. You're saying my client was driving/speeding, making driving violations – okay, let's see it. Let's see the dashcam.
So, if they weren't giving the video – assuming a video exists in the particular police vehicle – most of them live in a CHP vehicle, but not necessarily in an LAPD vehicle – or even a body cam video that might exist showing the person talking, walking, performing a field sobriety test.
Of course, it would be a Brady violation if they have that information – they have those videos that the defendant can use to defend themselves, and they don't turn that information over to the defense. So, that's where you're going to see Brady violations – when things are not turned over to the reason so the guard can properly defend a particular DUI case.
Filing a Brady Motion in Court
So, suppose you have a situation where your attorney is trying to fight a case, and you need to file a Brady motion. In that case, you file the action with the prosecutors, and then the prosecutors are going to tell the judge whether they've got the information or not.
The critical thing is, they must turn over any exculpatory or inculpatory information they have related to a DUI case. If they don't, they can be subject to not using that evidence against a defendant.
The judge can order them to turn over the information – and if it's good information for the defense – and they're not turning the information over – then a judge can even order the case dismissed. I make motions all the time. I say, Your Honor, I've informally asked for this information related to the DUI case that will help my client in their defense, and they're not turning it over.
Prosecutors can't hide behind the police. They can't say, well, the police aren't giving it to me, because the police are an arm or a branch of the prosecutorial system, and if the police don't turn it over and we know it exists, then it doesn't matter.
They're going to be ordered to turn it over, and if they don't, the case can be dismissed. So, these Brady violations have to do with the defense showing that there's evidence that the prosecutor or police have that's not being turned over to the defense.
Now, of course, a judge will tell me what evidence it is. How do you know that they have it? Where is it? If you get the judge involved and file a formal discovery motion, say judge.
I've asked them for it, and they didn't give it to me, so now I'm filing a motion with you, and I'm asking you to order them to provide me with this Brady information – this information that can help my client.
Judge Could Dismiss The DUI Case
If the judge orders them to do it and they don't do it, the judge has the power and authority to dismiss the case. So, these Brady motions have to do with getting information that the prosecutors or police have, typically, that helps the defendant.
But even information they're saying they have that they're going to use at a trial that they haven't turned over – you can say, that's a Brady violation. I need to evaluate this information that they supposedly have related to my DUI arrest to defend myself. Maybe I want to do my investigation.
Maybe I want to get my expert to challenge this evidence that they have. They need to turn it over to me. I need to be able to access it.
Don't confuse this Brady violation with the police giving you all the information that might exist out there in the universe. It's the only information they have, and they have control over it, and the defense can't get it.
It wouldn't be a Brady violation if the defense could go out through their investigation and get information. Could you go out and get it, defense? Please don't blame the prosecutors and the police; It's only evidence that they control that they're not turning over.
For example, they have some other evidence in addition to body cams and other police-equipped videos. Say they impounded a car related to a DUI accident, and they're not giving the defense access to view the vehicle to see what damage it has. That can be another example of a Brady violation.
Lawyer Seeking Reduced Charges Or Case Dismissal
So, whatever evidence they have that they're not letting the defense see, the defense needs to fight back. File a motion with the court. Say it's a Brady violation and get the judge to issue an order so the defense can look at everything, conduct a proper investigation in a DUI case in Los Angeles and either get the case dismissed or get lesser charges, but be in a position to look at all the evidence.
That's what the defense has to do in a DUI case. Suppose the police and prosecutors are interfering with that defense investigation. In that case, it's up to the DUI defense attorney to file the motion in the LA court where the case is pending and get the evidence that needs to be evaluated to defend the case properly.