During Norfolk criminal cases, expert witnesses play a vitally important role. Deemed experts in their fields, their opinions are given much more weight in court than a layperson, which is why it is crucial to contact a well-connected Norfolk DUI lawyer who has established strong relationships with reliable expert witnesses. Call today to schedule your free initial consultation today.
The prosecution uses expert witnesses to testify regarding a result of the blood test. The expert can testify as to the manner in which the blood was obtained and what the results ultimately mean. They can explain what substances were found in the blood and in what quantities.
The prosecution will likely call a toxicologist from the Department of Forensic Science to testify regarding the actual testing of the blood, as well as what the results mean and how they should be interpreted.
A Norfolk DUI lawyer challenges the expert’s claims by a variety of methods. They can question the expert’s qualifications and experience in handling cases such as the one at issue. They can also question how the sample was handled and whether the expert was the only person involved, and if they weren’t, then why isn’t the other person present in court.
The attorney can question the significance of the result and how conclusive findings actually are.
For a DUI case in Norfolk that involves drugs, the defense can call the doctor who prescribed the drugs, or any doctor who’s familiar with the drugs, to testify regarding how that particular drug affected the defendant and whether the amount used was as prescribed or whether the reaction was atypical or unexpected. A defense toxicologist is also another expert that may be called to challenge the prosecution’s expert’s opinion testimony.
This is important because a good expert can make a significant difference in the outcome of the case. Someone who is a good expert not only needs to have knowledge about the issue, but also needs to be someone that presents well in court so that their testimony is easily understood and therefore, is actually helpful. It is also important to have someone who can answer questions well, whether the questions are from the prosecutor or from the judge.
At trial, whoever is using the expert has to present the expert’s qualifications that make them an expert rather than just a regular witness. This is important because if they aren’t considered an expert, then they’re more limited in what they’re allowed to testify to. For example, an expert can testify as to their own personal opinion, while a lay person may only testify as to given facts.
Once it is established that the person is in fact an expert, then they have to explain what it is that the expert is testifying to, such as whether they are the person who actually administered the blood test or someone else that was a secondary witness.
From there, the expert can testify about whatever the evidence is. How much weight they hold at the trial depends on their qualifications and their testimonies, but in general, experts are considered to be a much stronger witness than a layperson.
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