Expert Witnesses in Colonial Heights DUI Cases

In Colonial Heights, someone could be considered an expert witness if they have an expertise in whatever category the person seeking. They could be an expert witness in anything so long as they could lay the proper foundation for the individual’s expertise. That could be laid through their training, experience, school, studying, writings, teachings, et cetera. If someone qualifies as an expert, they could be considered an expert in almost anything.

If you were charged with a DUI, you could benefit from hiring an attorney who could call upon reliable expert witnesses in Colonial Heights DUI cases. A qualified DUI lawyer could use expert witnesses to assist in trial and help in preparing the case.

Role of an Expert Witness in the Prosecution’s Case

In the prosecution’s DUI case, most of the time the expert witness is going to be an examiner from the Department of Forensic Science. The examiner has an expertise in the ways that certain drugs affect an individual’s motor skills and ability to operate a motor vehicle. The witness does this through their review of the records of the case and the nature of the intoxicant found in the individual’s body. Also, through their own training and experience, they could testify to the way in which that substance would affect the individual who ingested it based on the amount that they ingested.

Challenging Expert Witness Testimony

How a DUI lawyer refutes or challenges the claims of the government’s experts is determined on a case-by-case basis. They challenge the testimony of the expert by knowing what the facts of the case are as well as the science behind their case and the manner in which the Commonwealth is going to be using their expert witness.

In some cases, defense attorneys use their own expert witnesses. These expert witnesses could include officers and folks from the Department of Forensic Science who know how breath testing machines work and their faults. Namely, an expert witness in a DUI case usually challenges one of a couple of things, including:

  • The manner in which alcohol metabolizes in the body
  • The way in which the Intoxilyzer machine works or does not work
  • The way in which a substance affects the motor skills of an individual

What Happens in a Trial with Expert Witnesses?

At trial, both the Commonwealth and the defense are going to call experts. In their case-in-chief, the Commonwealth would put that expert on the stand, which gives the defense an opportunity to cross-examine the expert on the facts or the theory of the case. After that, the Commonwealth would rest.

The defense is going to make a motion to strike. If the motion to strike is denied, they would put on their evidence. While the defense is running evidence, the defense would present their expert to challenge the Commonwealth’s evidence and discuss their expert opinion on facts. They call this scenario a battle of experts. After that, the case is closed and the judge or jury, whoever the finder-of-fact is, makes a determination.

Calling a Colonial Heights DUI Attorney for Help

If you need assistance fighting DUI charges, reach out to a DUI lawyer. A qualified attorney knows how to effectively use expert witnesses in Colonial Heights DUI cases, and they could attempt to exploit weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Get in touch with a dedicated attorney today to begin building a defense.