What Is a Brady Violation?
A brady violation refers to a violation of the Brady Rule, which requires prosecutors to not withhold any favorable evidence from the defense in a criminal case. For instance, the prosecution is required to let the defense know of any evidence that may lead to the charges being reduced or dropped altogether.
A reliable criminal defense attorney in Auburn, AL can help protect your rights if a Brady violation occurred. Your attorney will obtain the necessary evidence and build a strong defense against the prosecution’s claims in order to have the charges dismissed or reduced.
What is Brady Material?
Brady material refers to any evidence which may be helpful to the defense team. It usually falls into one of the following categories:
- Evidence that someone else committed the crime.
- Evidence that the government witness is lying.
- Evidence that can be used to reduce the sentence for the crime.
Type of Evidence that Proves that Someone Else Committed the Crime
This type of evidence involves items that prove or show that someone else is responsible for the crime. It may also have items that show the accused is not the perpetrator of the crime. The following type of evidence can be used for this:
- Still photos or videos of the new suspect.
- DNA that identifies someone else besides the accused.
- Witness testimony corroborating the defendant’s alibi.
- Fingerprints identifying a possible new suspect or eliminating the current defendant.
Possible Remedies for Brady Violation in Alabama
Most Brady violations don’t get discovered until the defendant has been sentenced for the crime. This means that the defendant will have to use the violation to have the conviction overturned. There are several possible remedies that an Alabama criminal defense attorney can use to assist you during the case.
Prior to the criminal trial
Your defense attorney will file a motion challenging the evidence if they discover a Brady violation before the trial commences. They may also file a motion for the dismissal of all charges with prejudice. The prosecutors will not be able to bring the same charges against you a second time if the motion is approved.
However, if the motion is denied, your attorney will ask for the following:
- Instructing the jury about the Brady violation.
- Additional time to investigate the new evidence.
- Ethical sanctions against the prosecutor.
- Admission of evidence, which is not relevant or admissible to the case in other circumstances.
During the criminal trial
Brady violations commonly come to light when a criminal trial is underway. Your defense attorney may file a motion for judgment of acquittal. The judge will bypass any decision made by the jury if the acquittal is granted. You will be declared not guilty on all charges. Your defense attorney has the option to file for a new trial as well.
In most cases, the Brady violation does not get discovered until the defendant has been convicted. Your defense attorney may file for post-conviction relief if this happens. One of the following will be filed by your attorney:
- Filing a motion for a new trial.
- Direct appeal to the conviction.
- Petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
You will have a new trial if the motion is granted. In most cases, the defendant walks free as the government doesn’t want the unnecessary expenses related to a new trial.
What is the Due Process Protections Act?
The Due Process Protections Act (DPPA) was signed into law on October 21st, 2020. It’s a fairly recent bill that came into effect to reduce the incidence of Brady violations. The law requires federal judges to give pointed reminders to prosecutors regarding their obligations under the Brady rule before the beginning of every case.
Federal judges are also required to outline the consequences of violating the Brady rule. This is to encourage prosecutors to comply with the rule. The new law directs each federal judicial district to guide their judges on what type of terminology to use and the consequences to consider. Major consequences of the Brady violations include dismissing the related charges, excluding evidence, and even punishing the prosecutors.
It’s still too early to measure the impact of DPPA. Meanwhile, it is important that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney take all the right steps to prepare a strong defense and keep an eye out for any violations that may lead to your acquittal.
Get a Free Case Evaluation from Our Seasoned Auburn, AL Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you or someone you care about is involved in a case where a Brady violation may have occurred, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Alsobrook Law Group can help. Our attorneys will relentlessly pursue all avenues to achieve the best possible outcome. We will closely review the case, gather the necessary evidence, and build a strong legal strategy to defend you against the charges.
Our attorneys will work with a singular goal to have your Brady Violation charges dismissed or reduced. Schedule your free and confidential consultation with us today. Call 334-737-3718 or write to us online.