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  1. #1

    Default Obtaining Documents from a Criminal Case

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Florida

    I would like to know, is it possible to obtain evidence (like transcripts of depositions or crime scene photos) from a criminal case that almost went to trial but ended up in a plea deal instead ? I was able to obtain the criminal case file from the Clerk of Courts but it contains only correspondence between the state attorney and the defendant's lawyer, no "real" evidence.
    Oh and I am not personally involved in the case, I just want to obtain information on the case.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Obtaining Documents from a Criminal Case

    If you have obtained the court file... that's what the court has.

    In terms of transcripts, assuming the recordings are still available, you may order them from the court reporter. The cost is significant. If copies have already been prepared, e.g., for an appeal, the copying cost should be considerably less than the order of the first copy (as it has already been transcribed).

    Exhibits are normally returned to the parties at the end of the trial and appeal.

    You can try contacting the defendant, although... I wouldn't go that far, myself.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Obtaining Documents from a Criminal Case

    Well the defendant is in jail so I doubt he has evidence from his case, and I wouldn't contact him anyways.

    But like I said, the case never went to trial, it was scheduled to, but got settled in a plea deal instead. So from what I understand, it means all the evidence (crime scene photos, witness statements, etc) was all ready for the trial, but since the trial didn't happen, I'm wondering what happened to all that evidence... Did it get destroyed ? Or did it go in the state attorney's files ? Can the public access those files ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Obtaining Documents from a Criminal Case

    Evidence may be sealed by court order. In that case, there will be no access unless you can obtain an order from the judge to unseal the evidence. Usually, exhibits are returned the party that introduced them. Unclaimed exhibits/evidence will be destroyed after the required time has lapsed (60 days in Arizona).

  5. #5

    Default Re: Obtaining Documents from a Criminal Case

    When I requested the case file from the Clerk of Courts I think they would have told me if the evidence was sealed...but they didn't mention anything so I have to guess it is not.

    Do you know if the state attorney's office keeps evidence in its files from the cases they have worked on ?

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