CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL DEFENSE: DEFENDANTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO PRE-PRELIMINARY HEARING PITCHESS DISCOVERY
WE DO GET PITCHESS DISCOVERY PRIOR TO THE PRELIMINARY HEARING
This is the case on whether sefense attorney can get Pitchess discovery (11 CAL.3d 531) prior to the preliminary hearing; and whether defense attorneys can get ANY discovery prior to the prelim.
The California Supreme Courtsay that Pitchess discovery wouldn't have made any difference here, so they uphold the denial in this case. But they expressly say that Pitchess discovery is available prior to the prelim. Their point is that there's no express legislative ban on Pitchess discovery prior to the prelim. The only express ban regarding discovery at prelim is found in PC 866, which only bans USING the prelim itself for discovery.
The reasoning here supports us getting ALL discovery pre-prelim, since nothing expressly bars it.
The court notes that nothing changes the previous practice of pre-prelim Pitchess Besides the fact that Galindo himself lost here, the only bad thing is that we don't have a right to continuances to pursue Pitchess discovery. But if we make a sufficient showing for the need for Pitchess at the prelim stage, the magistrate MUST grant the Pitchess motion, and CAN grant a continuance. Even if the magistrate is going to deny the continuance, we are still entitled to the discovery, so we can at least speed up investigating a case by making a pre-prelim Pitchess motion.
Galindo v. Superior Court; 2010 DJ DAR 11347; DJ, 7/23/10; Cal. Supremes
california Pitchess, california discovery, california police misconduct