How Do You File a Motion of Discovery?

A motion of discovery can be filed by mail or at the arraignment. Which method a defendant uses is based on the plea that was entered.

A motion of discovery provides the defendant with notes made by a police officer during or shortly after issuing a traffic citation. A defendant can also demand to see other information, such as what type of equipment was used to clock the defendant’s speed, and even instruction manuals on that specific equipment. However, it is important to understand that not all states recognize this right, and a defendant should check with his state to be sure this law exists before filing a motion of discovery.

To file a motion of discovery, a thorough written request can be made through the traffic court and the local prosecuting agency. The letter can be delivered during the arraignment, but is more commonly carried out by mail. This letter should be clear, concise and typed on regular paper.

Occasionally, the motion of discovery is ignored. If this is the case, the defendant should submit the letter again after 2 to 3 weeks, clearly stating how the officer’s notes and any other requested items will aid in the defense of the accused. If this still doesn’t work, the defendant may go to the court to ask the judge to order the officer to turn over the requested documents.