What is Criminal “Discovery”?
“Discovery” is the term used in the legal profession to refer to the process by which parties in litigation obtain information and evidence from each other. Discovery in federal criminal cases is very different than discovery in state criminal court. Federal criminal discovery is often limited to materials that are intended to be used directly at trial, as well as evidence that materially exonerates the defendant.
In federal criminal practice, the limited discovery often results in unfair surprises at shortly before, or even at, trial.