Experts Witnesses in Annapolis DUI Cases
Although it is not commonly seen in Annapolis DUI cases, sometimes an attorney will use an expert witness for a specific circumstance in order to strengthen the defense for their client or disprove the prosecution’s theory.
For example, in cases involving drug recognition experts, where the state is needing more information to prove impairment, they need to have an officer that has been specially trained. If they have testified in numerous cases and the judges are willing to accept them as an expert, then they could be involved in your case. However, you may want to call a witness of your own as an expert, who has experience in that particular field and could testify.
The key to the use of an expert is true applicability. If a test determining impairment was blood-related, attorneys would look at how the blood was taken, stored, and tested. An expert that perhaps is more experienced in crime labs and forensics can argue that it was not done in a way that was reliable, that the test itself was tainted by the state, or that they did not follow proper procedures. That would be an applicable situation for an expert, but it is necessary to understand that experts are more expensive and most people are not willing to put that money there when most of these cases can be argued without the expert, so they are used only in select situations.
Challenging Claims of the Expert
With regards to refuting the government bringing in an expert on a DUI case, someone would have to first look at the applicability of the expert’s opinion. In this instance, there is an officer who makes the stop, and who makes the observation, and an officer who writes their observations as they have been trained. After the standard field sobriety tests, they may call an expert’s opinion to further the state’s case on the impact on an individual and how dangerous that act was. The officer has been trained in this situation and if they are following protocol as they are supposed to, the officer will act as the state’s true expert.
Judges should evenly apply any testimony from any witness. There will be multiple accounts told in any trial and it is up to the judge to decide who is telling the truth and who they are going to rely on. Someone’s expert may come in with an exceptional amount of quality and experience and an exceptional amount of detailed work and knowledge, and they will come in with reasonable and applicable opinions, which can be persuasive to a judge.
Importance of an Attorney
An attorney is essential in a DUI case, as they could easily be able to utilize their resources of experts and will have a good background in talking to the experts. If someone found something that someone is willing to question, the best thing to do is get in people who know just how important the standard field sobriety tests are and if they are not being done correctly. You want to be as well versed and as knowledgeable as possible. These officers are going through extensive training and states attorneys are going through extensive training.
An expert is helpful because they are knowledgeable and they focus and study these situations frequently. A good attorney, especially in Anne Arundel County and Annapolis will take the time to make their defense the best in the room with experts behind them if needed.