The role of expert witnesses for the prosecution in Alexandria DUI cases is to explain the effects of a certain amount of alcohol in someone’s system. In other words, explaining how the alcohol in your system would impact your ability to drive.
They might also call experts to show that the machine which analyzed your breath was working correctly, and sometimes they call experts to explain what certain drugs in your system would mean. The prosecution typically calls expert witnesses to explain something in more detail.
These are usually things that are not common knowledge, that apply to your blood alcohol content, including how much you have to drink and when and how your driving would be affected.
Alexandria prosecutors will use expert witnesses to prove their case against someone in court, but that doesn’t mean an Alexandria DUI lawyer can’t use expert witnesses for the defense’s benefit.
It depends on the expert. The court cannot make a blanket statement that all experts are treated the same. However, they are given the amount of weight that they should be given based upon their credentials, the way they testify, and to what they are testifying. Having a highly-credentialed expert helps.
Somebody who is perhaps new or not that experienced, or who may be discredited in some way, is not as beneficial to either side in court. It depends on each Alexandria expert witnesses’ credentials and plays out on a case-by-case, expert-by-expert basis in court.
There are several ways for an experienced DUI lawyer in Alexandria to challenge expert witnesses for the prosecution. The first thing is try to strongly cross examine the Commonwealth’s expert witness.
An attorney who knows what they are talking about, what they are looking for, and which areas are problematic for the Commonwealth’s expert, can put forward a good cross examination that can discredit the expert or at least show that their findings may not be accurate. Another way to combat an expert for the Commonwealth is to have a defense-side expert.
It is partly a war of the experts, the goal being that hopefully the experts cancel each other out or your expert is better than the Commonwealth’s expert. If that happens then the evidence your expert gives the court is given more weight and you have defended against the Commonwealth’s evidence.
Defense experts that an Alexandria DUI attorney may call will talk about any medical problems that could affect the breath testing machines, such as GERD. If you have a gastrointestinal disorder that causes you to burp often or have acid reflux, this could be a reason to have mouth alcohol, which would inflate the readings of the breathalyzer machine.
Sometimes defense attorneys will call experts to testify about how a medical problem, such as diabetes, may affect the machine’s result. Diabetes can create an increased reading on a blood alcohol test.
Additionally, an expert for the defense may explain how the machine that read your blood alcohol content was malfunctioning, and how user error would have affected the reading on the machine. Basically, experts try to discredit the Commonwealth’s evidence by introducing evidence that either the machine was wrong or it read your mouth alcohol instead of the alcohol in your blood.
They may also testify that you could not have been under the influence based upon the amount you drank in the time you drank it. Experts try to discredit the Commonwealth’s evidence and knock out evidence that hurts the defense, where they can.
It is extremely important to know good experts because, you pay for them and paying for an expert who is not helpful is a waste of time and money that ultimately does not help your case. If you are calling an expert to the stand, you want them to be good and to help your case. Having an attorney who has dealt with experts in the past is a good way to ensure that you have a good expert who can help your case.
Having an Alexandria DUI lawyer who has used experts in the past, knows how to use them, and knows how to use them effectively, is the most important thing. Just having the expert alone is not sufficient. That is where the experienced attorney comes into play.
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