If you are facing a DUI charge, you may have strong defenses to the charges that may result in its dismissal or reduction to a less serious offense. You will need an experienced DUI attorney in Fairfax to identify your defenses and gather the evidence you need to support them. Depending on the circumstances in your criminal case, your attorney may recommend that you hire an expert witness.
What Is an Expert Witness?
An expert witness is an individual who has expertise in his profession based on his education, training, and work that qualifies him to give an opinion on certain issues or evidence in a case that goes beyond the knowledge of lay people. He can write a report outlining his investigation and conclusions and testify at your DUI trial if necessary. In some cases, having a strong expert opinion on a disputed fact or piece of evidence can help convince the prosecutor to dismiss the case or enter into a favorable plea agreement where the DUI charges are reduced to a less serious offense.
Types of Expert Witnesses Used in DUI Cases in Fairfax
A DUI case can involve complicated scientific facts, factors, and procedures that must be followed by the police when they stop a person for DUI. Because of this, many different types of experts are utilized by defense attorneys in these cases to counter the prosecutor’s case. You may find that one or more of these experts might be helpful:
- Law enforcement official. A police officer will understand what an officer’s investigation of someone suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol should entail. He can explain errors in the officer’s investigation in your case, including whether there was legal basis to stop you, and how the police failed to properly administer your field sobriety test or breathalyzer test. If there was no probable cause to pull you over or the results of a key test used to arrest you for DUI are invalid, this might result in the charges against you being dismissed.
- Forensic toxicologist. A common expert in a DUI case is a forensic toxicologist. Forensic toxicology is a field of study into the presence of drugs or alcohol in a person’s body and their effects on his body and behaviors, such as driving abilities. A forensic toxicologist can testify as to the absorption of alcohol in your body and how impaired an individual likely was at a given blood alcohol level. He may be able to establish that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was below 0.08 percent when you were pulled over, but that your BAC rose to this level or higher at the time of your blood test. In addition, he can testify as to the inherent problems with the accuracy of breathalyzer and blood tests, whether the test was improperly administered, lack of calibration of the breathalyzer machine, and much more.
- Field sobriety expert. There are many detailed requirements that must be followed when a police officer administers field sobriety tests. An expert in this field can help identify errors in how the police conducted your tests and how this may have led to inaccurate test results.
- Accident reconstruction expert. If you were involved in a serious motor vehicle accident when arrested for DUI, you may need the assistance of an accident reconstruction expert. He would conduct a thorough investigation of the collision and make determinations as to the speed of the vehicles, if the brakes were applied, whether your reaction times were impaired, and whether intoxication was a contributing factor in the crash.
Let Us Help You Build a Strong Defense
If you have been charged with DUI in Fairfax or Northern Virginia, you face very serious consequences, such as a large fine, jail sentence, suspension of your driver’s license, increased auto insurance rates, and a permanent criminal record. At Greenspun Shapiro PC, our experienced DUI lawyers are dedicated to mounting the best defense possible to the charges you face and to aggressively fighting for the best outcome possible for you. To learn about our track record of success in these cases and how we can assist you, call our office or start an online chat to schedule your free consultation.