Maricopa County prosecutors in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau will soon be using laptop and tablet computers to in trial presentations, funded through a grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The award consists of $36,700 in federal funds designated to help combat drunk driving.
The Vehicular Crimes Bureau reviews 3,000 to 4,000 submittals a year, assigning upwards of 1,300 cases for prosecution. The grant will allow attorneys present visual depiction of crime scenes in court as well as work remotely in a paperless system.
Police investigations frequently involve highly detailed technical reports and reconstruction diagrams documenting the circumstances of the criminal traffic offense. The technical nature of these reports and visual aids creates challenges for the presentation and prosecution of felony vehicular crimes cases.
With the new technology, prosecutors and legal support staff will be able to save and access documents, reports and exhibits in electronic form. Remote access capabilities will provide prosecutors with 24-7 access to case files and relevant information. The improved effectiveness of case processing and document management is expected to lead to improved prosecution of both felony and misdemeanor cases.
“My office is grateful to Alberto Gutier, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, for making these funds available so that we can enhance our effectiveness in holding offenders accountable and keeping impaired drivers off our streets,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “This technology is just the latest example of the types of best practices and operational efficiencies we are incorporating throughout the organization,” he added.