Federal Government’s Disclosure Obligations of Information or Evidence to the Defendant

The federal government is required to disclose any relevant information or evidence to the defendant when the defendant requests disclosure of such information. The defendant should file a motion requesting the disclosure of the federal government’s evidence. The defendant should be provided with liberal discovery.

The federal government should disclose any relevant written or recorded statements made by the defendant that are within its control and possession. The defendant has an absolute right to disclosure of his own written or recorded statements. The federal government is not required to disclose statements made by the defendant that are:

  • unrelated to the offense that the defendant is charged with
  • separate from the evidence that the government intends to introduce at the defendant’s trial
  • not in its possession

Disclosure of Oral Statements

The federal government is required to disclose the substance of oral statements made by the defendant during an interrogation or other police questioning. The federal government must disclose the defendant’s responses to any questions answered prior to the giving of the Miranda warnings. However, certain oral statements are not required to be disclosed to the defendant upon his request. Such statements include:

  • statements made to persons who are not federal government or other governmental employees or agents
  • statements made that were not made in response to police interrogation
  • statements made to third parties
  • any other oral statements that the federal government does not intend to use in the defendant’s criminal trial.