In Washington criminal cases, the prosecution must disclose upon written demand the names and addresses of the people it “intends to call as witnesses . . .” and any expert witnesses it intends to call at trial, if that information is within its knowledge, possession, or control. The Washington Court of Appeals recently considered whether it was permissible for the State to wait until the day of trial to name the actual witness in State v. Salgado-Mendoza.
After being arrested for DUI, the defendant voluntarily submitted to two breath tests. Several months before his scheduled trial date, he requested that the State disclose information about its expert witnesses. The State filed a witness list in December 2012, naming nine toxicologists, one of whom would testify.
The defendant filed a supplementary discovery demand about two weeks before trial, seeking the names of all the expert witnesses the state intended to call. Three days before trial, he moved for the dismissal or exclusion of the toxicologist’s evidence. He argued the State had committed governmental misconduct by failing to disclose who would testify, despite multiple requests.