Pitchess Motion: Fight if the Police Lied

By otmseo on August 24, 2020

Pitchess Motion: What to Do If the Police Lied On Your Arrest Report or in Court

You can fight if a Cop lied on your arrest report in your case or in court!

There is a process called a Pitchess Motion wherein in a Defendant about whom the police lied, in an arrest report, criminal report or in testimony, can request that the police agency turn over all other complaints that people have made about the officer lying (or falsifying reports, or excessive force, or planting evidence).

To make a Pitchess Motion defendant states that what the officer(s) have put into their reports is false. Secondly, he suggests an alternative scenario. Thirdly, the Court rules on whether there is a discrepancy. A discrepancy results in the Court then has an in camera (private) review of the officer’s complaint file. Next, if there are any complaints that show lying or falsifying police reports they are turned over to the defense counsel who can then investigate the complaints. Finally, the defendant can then call the complainants as witnesses who will testify against the officer.

Brady Discovery On Cops.

The other tool to obtain impeachment evidence as well as exculpatory evidence is a request for Brady Evidence. It all comes out of a fairly old case, that remarkably remains mostly intact, called Brady v. Maryland. Police personnel files that contain Brady information can only be accessed by Pitchess motion.

​Brady establishes that the Prosecution has a non-delegable duty to discover and disclose exculpatory and impeachment evidence. Therefore, the Prosecution has to turn over all evidence favorable to an accused that is material to either guilt or punishment. Material evidence is that evidence that shows a reasonable probability that, if disclosed to the Defense, it would have resulted in a different decision by the Trial Court. US v. Bagley. The Prosecution’s duty is ongoing pre-trial, during trial and even after trial. US v. Agurs.

Impeachment evidence includes the following:

— Evidence showing inept or biased police investigation, including concealing evidence about prosecution witnesses. Kyle v. Whitley.

— Charges pending against prosecution witnesses. People v. Santos.

— Evidence showing witnesses have a readiness to lie based on evidence of their ‘morally lax character’, even if it isn’t charged as a crime. People v. Mickle.

— Evidence that ‘victim’ made false accusations. People v. Tidwell.

— Evidence that some other dude did it. Kennedy v. Sup. Ct.

— Evidence related to defenses and punishment mitigation. Brady v. Maryland.

— Evidence of all inducements for State’s witnesses to testify. Giglio v. US.

​Additionally, the Prosecutor cannot avoid their responsibility by claiming they didn’t know about the information.

There is no good faith excuse. The prosecutor has a duty to investigate whether Brady evidence exists. Kyles v. Whitley.

The prosecutor cannot avoid his duty because the defendant didn’t make a specific request. US v. Agurs.

If you feel that the cops lied on the police report or they treated you badly call me at 213-479-5322 to discuss looking at their personnel records.

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