Expert Witnesses in Criminal Defense Cases in Florida
In many criminal cases in Florida, the prosecutor will use expert witnesses to testify at trial or during pre-trial motion hearings. The defense is also allowed to present relevant expert witness testimony in any criminal case in Florida.
At the Sammis Law Firm, we seek out the services of some of the best expert witnesses in their respective fields. In many cases, just the fact that the prosecutor knows that the defense attorney has hired a particular expert can cause the prosecutor to make a better offer.
Additionally, these experts for Florida criminal cases can be critical in helping your criminal defense attorney develop the best defense and strategy to fight your case if it proceeds to a motion hearing or trial.
For example, in a typical DUI case, the prosecutor will call their own “expert witness” which may include:
- the arresting officer who could testify about field sobriety tests (FSE);
- the arresting officer who could testify as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE);
- the breath test operator who will testify about the breath test machine,
- in self-defense cases to testify about the “use of force”; or
- a toxicology expert (toxicologist) to testify about blood test results.
The defense is also able to call their own expert witnesses in each of these areas to attack the Florida prosecutor’s case. Often the defense expert witness is much more qualified than the expert witness presented by the State of Florida.
When the client’s resources allow, our criminal defense and DUI lawyers understand the importance of using the most highly qualified expert witness available for your case in Florida. Many of our clients are surprised to learn that the expert witness fees are quite reasonable.
In many cases, the client can hire an expert witness who can be listed as an expert in the Florida criminal case, and review the evidence to help the attorney develop a particular defense. Often the fact that the expert is listed as a witness makes the prosecutor’s case more difficult which can helps us negotiate a better offer or increase the likelihood that the charges will be dropped. In many of these cases, the client does not incur the expense of having the expert travel to court to testify.
When the expert witness is utilized at a motion hearing or trial, the expert witness can often give the defense a huge advantage by helping the jurors or the court understand the issues in the case that are most favorable to the defense.