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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.

?Firearm Expert Witness - Massad F. Ayoob, Director of Lethal Force Institute, Inc. Expert in use of defensive deadly force. P. O. Box 122, Concord NH 03302-0122, (800) 624-9049 Toll Free, ayoob@attglobal.net.

?Law Enforcement Expert - Philip Sweeting, Retired Deputy Chief offers expert testimony and consultation for use of force, police shootings, arrest, negligent hiring, internal affairs, and Baker Act. Also qualified as expert for Infrared Breath Testing issues, Pharmacology, Pharmacokinetics, 843-347-0352. E-mail: Davenorm1945@aol.com.

?DUI Expert Witness - Charles E. Smith, 23 year veteran of the City of Miami Police Department, including 18 years in Traffic Division, accident investigation, and DUI Task Force, established Alcohol Testing and DRE program. Offers expert testimony on field sobriety testing, breath test, DRE, and other DUI issues. 772-286-5761 & 772-286-6732 (fax); DUIexpt@bellsouth.net.

?DUI Expert Witness - Rick Swope - DUI Expert in Davie, FL. Former DUI task force officer and SFST Master Instructor. Offers expert testimony in DUI cases for issues involving breath testing and field sobriety exercises.

?Firarms Expert Witness - Joe Naples, owner of House Calls Firearms Training, L.L.C., Firearms Instructor with 17 years experience offers his services as an expert witness in a firearms case regarding personal protection, self-defense, use of force, firearm or concealed weapon use.

?Expert Witness for "Use of Force" - Dr. Philip Hayden with Concepts and Tactics for Survival, former Supervisory Special Agent for the FBI, former program manager and tactical instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, offers services as expert for law enforcement issues such as arrest procedures, tactical training and use of force.

?Dr. James Woodford - Ph.D., Chemistry. Expert in Chattanooga, TN, on SFSE, breath, blood or urine tests for alcohol or drugs. jameswoodford@comcast.net or Woodford@Mindspring.com, 423-821-1146.

?Lawrence Masten - Ph.D., Board Certified in Toxicology, 873 West Bay Drive, 186, Largo, FL 33770, 727-595-6575; fax: 727-595-0785; toll free: 866-329-9262; Lwten@sprintmail.com. Expert witness with more than 33 years experience in analysis, collection, storage, and transportation of hospital or legal blood draw for BAC readings, and urine drug readings.

?Florida DUI Expert Witness - Jay Zager of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Ex-cop in Broward County. Medical retirement after 15 years. CMI factory trained on BOTH the Intoxilyzer 8000 and 5000. Repair technician approved by factory. Also, NHTSA SFST Instructor. E-mail: JayHZager@aol.com. Phone: 954-752-9788; FAX (954) 752-9788.

?Tampa Psychologist - Laura Umfer, Psy.D., LLC, C-MI, CCH, Licensed Clinical Psychologist focusing in Forensic Psychology and Military Psychology. Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Certified Meditation Instructor. Also worked full time with active duty military members at MacDill AFB as a contracted psychologist.

?University of Florida, Forensic Institute, Division of Forensic Psychiatry - The University of Florida Forensic Institute (352-265-3284) provides national experts who are board certified physicians in Addiction, Pain, Psychiatry, and Psychology with areas of consultation including:

  • criminal mitigation testimony;
  • medication misuse;
  • tobacco addiction;
  • alcohol impairment;
  • sanity;
  • diminished capacity;
  • competency to stand trial;
  • psychological dysfunction; and
  • traumatic brain injury.