David G. Moore Attorney At Law
Former DA Prosecutor Now Fights for Your Rights
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(Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan)

The use of expert witnesses in criminal defense

A criminal conviction could land a Michigan resident in prison for a significant period of time and force the offender to confront the possibility that a reputation that will be forever damaged. Michigan residents need to be fully prepared to face the charges, whether that means negotiating a plea deal or taking the matter to trial.

Should you decide to go to trial, then you will need to ensure that your legal defense is as strong as possible, supported by the law and legal rules. One tactic that may be beneficial at trial is using expert witnesses. Whether you need an expert to testify about the inaccuracies of a breathalyzer test, the inconsistencies of conclusions drawn from blood spatter or about any other forensic issue, an expert witness can make all the difference in your case.

Generally speaking, experts can testify about matters if their conclusions are scientifically sound. To draw their conclusions, these experts can rely on evidence that is typically used in their field, even if that evidence would otherwise be objected to and deemed inadmissible. For example, an X-ray, though inadmissible as hearsay when being testified about by a doctor who did not perform that test, the doctor, if an expert, may be able to discuss the X-ray as part of his conclusion related to a medical issue.

It is critical to prepare and approach expert witnesses appropriately in criminal cases in Michigan. Failing to do so could lead to unintended consequences and, quite frankly, a conviction.

Source: Legal Information Institute, "Expert Witness," accessed on Dec. 18, 2015

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