Expert Witnesses in Rockville DUI Cases
During a DUI case in Rockville, expert witnesses can play a huge role. Expert witnesses can come up during a DUI case for a number of reasons, including the administration of Field Sobriety Tests and how an officer was able to interpret clues on those Field Sobriety Tests, administration of Breathalyzer Tests, and admitting the results of those Breathalyzer Tests. Also, when there are blood or urine samples that are submitted to evaluate toxicity levels, an expert witness will need to be qualified in those fields, as well.
In Maryland, expert witnesses are also required to testify as to the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test in the Field Sobriety Tests, so that an officer can actually speak to the level of impairment the person has. The reason for this requirement is that several years ago in Maryland, an accused stated that an officer simply couldn’t testify about a person’s level of impairment based on the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test unless he or she has received specialized training in that particular Field Sobriety Test. As a result of the lack of training an officer undergoes for these tests, it became required that the prosecution bring in an expert witness who can attest to how the test was administered. To learn more about the role expert witnesses play in these types of cases, call and schedule a consultation with a Rockville DUI lawyer. They will guide you through understanding the case process and provide insight on how to proceed with your case.
Expert Witnesses for the Prosecution
An expert witness the prosecution in Rockville may call could be associated with the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test. The expert witness would likely testify to the level of impairment a person might be displaying before or during that test. Expert witnesses could also be called to testify as to blood alcohol results based on a blood test, urine test or even a Breathalyzer Test, depending on what test was administered by the Rockville police officer at the time of the event.
Expert witnesses are also necessary in Driving Under the Influence of Drug cases where a Drug Recognition Expert, who is qualified and receives special training for evaluating people being under the influence of drugs while they are behind the wheel of a car, would be able to testify about a person’s level of impairment. Those are the main types of experts that the prosecution would call in DUI cases.
How Rockville DUI Lawyers Refute Government’s Claims
Rockville prosecutors have a certain time requirement in these types of cases within which they need to notify the defense of any experts that they are planning to call. State’s attorneys are usually very busy and don’t always abide by these time requirements as they are supposed to when they are trying to qualify an expert.
Additionally, prosecutors are supposed to provide Rockville DUI lawyers information about the expert, including the expert’s qualifications, the resume of their education, their prior qualifications in court as an expert, and what special training they received.
The defense needs to cross examine the expert witness on their expertise in a Frye-Reed hearing before that expert’s testimony becomes admissible in a courtroom. Additionally, Rockville DUI attorneys can hire their own experts to refute or challenge the findings of the expert that the state is going to put on or to present its own opinion when it comes to the evidence that is being presented in the case.
Knowing Reliable and Trustworthy Experts
An experienced Rockville DUI attorney who knows good experts will be able to provide defenses for you that an inexperienced defense lawyer likely won’t be able to provide. For instance, someone who has worked in the Rockville court system for years and has dealt with a number of these types of cases will have a good index of expert witnesses that have knowledge of very particularized fields associated with DUI cases. Calling one of these witnesses can be helpful in presenting any finder of fact whether it is a jury or a judge, with information that they need to understand more complex defenses or a simple straightforward defense brought forth without the assistance of expert witnesses.
Expert Witnesses for the Defense
An expert that a Rockville DUI lawyer might call will be an expert to challenge the results of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test and an expert to challenge any of the toxicity screenings. These could include any of the blood, urine or other tests that the prosecution might recommend in their case against you. The defense might call a medical expert to testify about the medical conditions the defendant was suffering from at the time they were stopped that might give an explanation for their performance in the Field Sobriety Tests.
Importance of Expert Witnesses in a Rockville DUI Case
How much weight an expert is given is going to depend completely on the finder of fact based on the area of knowledge that the expert presents. That is really what is most important to lawyers because the defense is not necessarily seeking to prove your innocence. The basic criteria for a successful DUI defense is that a lawyer wants to show a judge or jury that the prosecutors have not shown their client is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. If an expert can generate that doubt then the expert has done his or her job.