One of the most important laws that every citizen should be fearful of is the Prosecutor’s Investigative Subpoena.
“RSMo 56.085. Criminal investigations, prosecutors or circuit attorneys may obtain subpoena for witnesses, records, and books – In the course of a criminal investigation, the prosecuting or circuit attorney may request the circuit judge (or associate circuit) to issue a subpoena to any witness that may have information for the purpose of oral examination under oath to require the production of books, papers, records, or other material of any evident nature at the Office of Prosecuting or Circuit Attorney requesting the subpoena.”
This is an important statute which is intended to be limited in scope, relevance, and purpose and to be specific so that compliance is not unduly burdensome.
Prosecutors should not exercise indiscriminate subpoena power and it is not a substitute for other procedural laws available to it such as search warrants.
Prosecutors do not have unlimited access to privileged materials such as attorney-client, physician-patient, ministerial or other statutory privileges which may have an oppressive effect on the decision of patients to seek medical attention or persons to consult with their attorneys.
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