At your initial appearance the court will set a deadline for the government to provide discovery. Discovery is information in the government’s possession which it intends to use at trial in an attempt to prove you are guilty. This information may include witness statements, physical evidence, reports from investigating officers, photographs, surveillance footage or wiretapped phone calls, and many other things.
If you are knowledgeable of state criminal proceedings, you will notice federal discovery is much more limited than that which is required in state court. If you are charged with possession, production, or distribution of child pornography you are not entitled to copies of the images which the government will use against you. Your counsel will be required to view these images only at the Office of the United States Attorney. With the exception of these images, your attorney will review your discovery with you to make a defense plan.