Role of Expert Witnesses in Richmond DUI Drug Cases

If accused of driving while under the influence of drugs in Richmond, an expert witness will likely be called during your trial. Below, a Richmond DUI drug lawyer discusses the impact this can have on your case, can what an experienced attorney can do to refute their testimony. For assistance with your case, call and schedule a consultation today.

Importance of Expert Witnesses in a DUID Case

Expert witnesses play a primary role in a prosecutor’s case.  They’ll present expert witnesses to testify regarding:

  • How the blood tests that were conducted
  • What was found in the blood
  • How the blood was handled
  • The levels of drugs that were found in the blood
  • How those levels could impair an individual

Primarily the testimony will come from the nurse or the doctor that withdrew the blood.  They’ll also seek to get one of the scientists from the department of forensic science to testify as to how the blood was tested, how it was handled, and what drugs were found in the blood.

How Can An Attorney Refute This Testimony?

A defense attorney may challenge the qualifications of the expert by questioning their education or their experience in handling these sorts of cases. They can also challenge the procedures that were used, how the blood was handled, how it was tested and who handled the blood sample. If the individual who handled the blood is not present in court, the defense can challenge that as well.

Witnesses The Defense May Call

In a DUID or DUI case, a defense attorney may call witnesses that can argue how blood or breath was tested or how the samples were handled. Defense may also challenge the results of such testing. If it’s a DUID case that involves prescription drugs, defense can call either the prescribing doctor or another doctor to testify as to the effects the drug had on the individual and the effect the drug can have on impairment or the ability to drive.

What Is The Importance of Witnesses To The Defense’s Case?

It’s important to have an attorney who knows experts in the field because an expert witness can turn the tide of the case. You’ll need an expert who not only has necessary qualifications but also has experience testifying in court. The expert will also need to understand the legal issues involved in your particular case so that they don’t miss relevant issues when testifying.

Weight of Expert Witnesses At Trial

When experts go to trial, the prosecutor will present the expert witness. Each expert will first present their qualifications or what makes them an expert in their field. Then the prosecutor will go forward with the case and have these witnesses testify about how the blood tests were conducted and the blood test results.  The defense attorney will then have an opportunity to cross examine the expert witness to either challenge their qualifications or challenge their expertise or knowledge of this specific case. At this time, the defense may also present their own witnesses on the case. Based on the qualifications of an expert, the testimony can carry a great deal of weight in trial.