In some Charleston DUI cases, the prosecution or defense wants to hear testimony from a medical or law enforcement expert witness. Expert witnesses may be able to shed light on topics such as how the body absorbs alcohol, what effects a combination of alcohol and prescription drugs might have, and how performance on a field sobriety test may or may not indicate intoxication.
Someone can be considered an expert witness if they have specialized knowledge and training in a particular field that laypeople do not typically understand. Expert witnesses can play a valuable role in DUI trials by breaking down complex scientific or medical knowledge and explaining it to a jury.
Role of an Expert Witness
Defense attorneys may call expert toxicologists or former police officers who have been trained in field sobriety tests to draw doubts about the prosecution’s case. A former police officer may be able to testify that certain field sobriety tests are unreliable, or that the arresting officer made a mistake in their interpretation.
Expert witnesses are rarely called as prosecution witnesses in the Charleston area for a DUI first offense. If they are called, however, they may explain the evidence so that the jury better understands the facts in the case. The prosecutor could call a breath test or a blood test expert like a toxicologist, for example, to explain how alcohol enters the bloodstream over time.
Expert witness testimony can carry a lot of weight. While every case is different, jurors are typically inclined to believe experts more than laypeople. An experienced attorney may be able to use their connections and resources to secure compelling testimony from expert witnesses that could help the defendant’s case.
Refuting the Prosecution’s Expert Witnesses
A criminal defense lawyer could refute or challenge the claims of government experts in several ways. They could attack their training or education to suggest that they are not qualified to testify as an expert. They could also argue that a witness does not have knowledge of cutting-edge developments in their field, making the testimony out of date. Usually, the main goal is to dismiss the credibility of the expert by arguing that they reached a conclusion without being fair and objective.
Benefits of An Attorney Who Understands Expert Witnesses
If you are facing DUI charges in Charleston, you may wish to speak with an attorney about the role of expert witnesses in your case. Not every trial will require an expert witness, but these individuals can often have an enormous influence on the jury. Compelling testimony from a medical, police, or technical expert can sometimes make the difference between conviction and acquittal.
When defense attorneys have a solid group of experts at their disposal and have worked with experts in the past, they may be able to give you a critical advantage in court. Call now and schedule a consultation to learn more about how expert witnesses may be able to help in your case. With help from a skilled defense attorney, you could increase your chance for a positive resolution.