I have many clients ask me when we will get information from the Prosecutor that I can use to help defend them. I inform my clients that the United States Supreme Court mandates that the prosecutor provide material that could be helpful to the defense. The criminal rules provide the procedure by which the prosecutor discharges this constitutional duty. The Honolulu prosecutors’ office has, for years, almost without exception, ignored the requirement to provide this initial information within ten days following arraignment. When I request, not only general items, but specific materials, the government then offers the materials, but with a monetary cost involved. There is no authority for them to charge anything, but they do. I challenged this. At first judges yelled at me, threatened me, and denied me, assuming that I would just give up. The prosecutors acknowledged that there was no authority for them to charge a fee, but insisted that this was the way it has always been done and that the fee was not too high. The courts denied my motion.
Over the course of several years, judges began to grant my motion. Continuously, more and more judges have granted it. But, the prosecutors still fought it and there were still a few judges holding out and denying my motion.
Then, one of my appellate cases was issued on November 25, 2015. State v Rollison involved quite a few issues regarding my client’s rights being violated. One of them was the prosecution charging money for discovery. The appellate court said that because there was no authority for the cost it was error for the trial court to have denied my motion. Armed with this case it is difficult to see how they can continue to wring money from defendants for obtaining their constitutionally entitled right to discovery. As a Honolulu criminal defense attorney, I thank my clients for the opportunity to fight for all of their rights.
If you have been arrested for a crime in Honolulu, contact the Law Office of Kevin O’Grady today and have your voice heard!