The government is constitutionally required to disclose all discovery to the defense. In criminal cases discovery often includes police reports, medical reports, chemical testing results, probation reports, photographs, diagrams, and recordings of witness statements. These materials must be turned over by the State after the defense attorney demands them. Often, this demand is in a template that can be modified to fit a specific case. At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. it is our practice to demand discovery as early as possible in a criminal case. We do this because the law indicates that the defendant only has a right to see discovery materials after they’ve been formally demanded. The State is prohibited from hiding or not turning over discovery materials.
Certain counties, such as Milwaukee, do not turn over discovery materials until after the preliminary hearing. Other counties turn over discovery materials as early as they’ve been demanded.
Section 971.23 of the Wisconsin Statutes discusses what must be turned over by each side.
Again, discovery materials must only be provided upon demand. That rule proves true for both the defendant and the government. Once demanded, within a reasonable amount of time before trial, disclose and permit the district attorney to inspect/copy the following materials:
Failure to provide these materials could result in a delay of your case or other penalties.