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In criminal proceedings, defendants have the right to obtain “Discovery.” This includes copies of all the police reports pertaining to the case, as well as any witness statements, reports of experts, photographs, and any audio or visual recordings that will be used to prove the case against a defendant. With the Discovery information, the defendant can test the prosecution’s evidence and prepare their defense. In Colorado criminal cases, the right to Discovery is governed by Rule 16 of the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure.
By law, the only persons authorized to order and pick up discovery in a criminal case are:
- An attorney of record, who has filed an entry of appearance on behalf of the defendant in the case for which the request is being made;
- An employee of the attorney of record, or professional courier authorized by the attorney of record to receive discovery, or
- A defendant who is not represented by an attorney (pro se).
After a case has been referred to our office by a law enforcement agency and charges have been filed, the District Attorney’s Office will open a case on the defendant. All police reports and other evidence in the case are then requested and processed for discovery when they are received.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT UNTIL A SUMMONS ISSUED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT IS FILED WITH THE COURT, THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE WILL NOT HAVE DISCOVERY AVAILABLE FOR THE DEFENSE.
If you are pro se (not represented by an attorney because you wish to represent yourself), click here for more information.