In any criminal trial, testimony from witnesses is a large part of presenting evidence from the prosecution and the defense side. This is certainly the case when it comes to Connecticut DUIs. If you face a DUI charge, familiarize yourself with the role of witness testimony to better understand the court process that you face. Read on for more information! This is a common defense that you can employ in your case.
Types of Witnesses
There are all different kinds of witnesses, including eyewitnesses, who will relay their account of what they saw before, during, or after the alleged crime took place. There are also character witnesses, who are people that know the defendant well and can speak to their trustworthiness, honesty, or perhaps reputation in the community. Another category of witnesses is called expert witnesses. Expert witnesses formulate an opinion based on their experience or qualifications rather than just relaying what they have witnessed. Expert witness testimony is generally based upon education, training, certifications, experience, or special skills.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation with my team. Hope will not fix your Connecticut DUI charge. Contacting us can!
There are expert witnesses from all different fields and specialized education, but some of the most common fields include technology, forensics, medicine, psychology, engineering, and pharmacology. Law enforcement officers can also serve as expert witnesses when providing testimony about police academy training, customs, or protocols used by police officers or other members of law enforcement.
In DUI trials, expert testimony is sometimes needed to testify about conducting field sobriety tests and administering blood alcohol content (BAC) tests because the average layperson is generally not aware of the law enforcement procedures and protocols for administering these tests.
Expert witnesses usually present some sort of opinion based on commonly accepted scientific or medical knowledge in the science or medicine community. However, sometimes expert witnesses will give testimony that is not widely accepted or that is controversial. The opposing side will often try to diminish an expert witnesses’ testimony in front of the judge or jury by challenging their credentials, contradictions, or fallacies in their reasoning.
Working With/Against Expert Witnesses
If an expert witness is testifying against you in court, a good DUI defense lawyer can handle the situation on your behalf. They can ask the right questions to challenge the witness and support your defense. However, expert witnesses can also work to your advantage and can be hired to testify on behalf of the defense.
Expert witnesses can play a big role in DUI trials, especially when blood, urine, or breath test results are an issue. When hired by a defense attorney, an expert witness can provide evidence in the form of reports or testimony that can help explain to the jury or the judge a topic that requires expert knowledge.
Some of the most common expert witnesses in DUI trials are forensic toxicology experts who can testify about how a certain amount of drugs or alcohol in the system affects the body and behavior. The defense may also bring in a doctor who has expertise in some medical issue that the defendant suffers from because the defense is alleging that the medical issue affected the accuracy of a field sobriety test. In DUI cases that led to a car accident that is in dispute, the defense may hire an accident reconstruction expert to explain how the accident most likely occurred based on the damage to the vehicles.
Your DUI defense lawyer can work with expert witnesses to strengthen your defense or challenge expert witnesses that the prosecution are working with. To learn more, contact us.