In criminal matters, most discovery is managed
through Standard Discovery Orders (SDO) that are part of the Local Rules, or the provisions for discovery in the Texas Code
of Criminal Procedure. The District Clerk or the District Attorney can provide a copy of the SDO for your review. In Grimes
County, the SDO is included in the Local Rules, and a copy may be obtained on this Website or from the District Clerk.
In addition to the provisions in the SDO, or TCCP procedures,
defense counsel is welcome to file supplemental discovery motions and requests. However, each supplemental discovery motion
or request must state how the particular request differs from the SDO or Code, and what the supplemental discovery
is intended to produce. Certainly, trial tactics and strategy should not be disclosed; only the focus of the supplemental
request. Absent an agreement from the State, counsel should be prepared to argue the position in court. Further, a certificate
of conference should be included in the supplemental discovery motion stating the outcome of discussions between the defense
and the State.
A Standard Discovery Order will not automatically be entered in every case that
is filed. Defense counsel must request the entry of the SDO, which will then, in most circumstances, be entered. A request
for the SDO may be done at Arraignment, at the Motions hearings and as late as the Pretrial hearing, so long as adequate time
is allowed for compliance by the State before the case is called for trial.
Except in unusual
circumstances, failure to timely present discovery issues will not be grounds for a trial continuance.
State and Defense should become familiar with the need for defense disclosures to the State, as the Standard Discovery Order
does cover that requirement.
It is important that defense counsel
contact the District Attorney in order to obtain passwords and access to online discovery mandated under the "Michael