I have many clients ask me when we will get information from the Prosecutor
that I can use to help defend them. I inform my clients that the United
States Supreme Court mandates that the prosecutor provide material that
could be helpful to the defense. The criminal rules provide the procedure
by which the prosecutor discharges this constitutional duty. The Honolulu
prosecutors’ office has, for years, almost without exception, ignored
the requirement to provide this initial information within ten days following
arraignment. When I request, not only general items, but specific materials,
the government then offers the materials, but with a monetary cost involved.
There is no authority for them to charge anything, but they do. I challenged
this. At first judges yelled at me, threatened me, and denied me, assuming
that I would just give up. The prosecutors acknowledged that there was
no authority for them to charge a fee, but insisted that this was the
way it has always been done and that the fee was not too high. The courts
denied my motion.
Over the course of several years, judges began to grant my motion. Continuously,
more and more judges have granted it. But, the prosecutors still fought
it and there were still a few judges holding out and denying my motion.
Then, one of my appellate cases was issued on November 25, 2015. State
v Rollison involved quite a few issues regarding my client’s rights
being violated. One of them was the prosecution charging money for discovery.
The appellate court said that because there was no authority for the cost
it was error for the trial court to have denied my motion. Armed with
this case it is difficult to see how they can continue to wring money
from defendants for obtaining their constitutionally entitled right to
discovery. As a Honolulu criminal defense attorney, I thank my clients
for the opportunity to fight for all of their rights.
If you have been arrested for a crime in Honolulu,
contact the Law Office of Kevin O’Grady today and have your voice heard!