The prosecutor is trying hard to make a case against the defendant; he/she is desperately explaining how the insignificant details actually do apply to the case. But now it is the defense’s turn to take center stage and defend their client. An expert witness is brought in to show why the prosecutor’s argument doesn’t make sense. The expert witness is the turning point of the case and the trial is over.
So what makes this person an expert witness?
An expert witness is someone who specializes in a particular field or discipline who may present their opinion without having been a witness to any occurrence relating to the case; and they have become qualified in their field through training, accomplishments and special knowledge. This is the only time when an opinion is admissible in court.
According to Federal Rules of Evidence, rule number 702 states that an expert witness may testify in the form of an opinion if the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data, the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, the experts knowledge will help the court understand the evidence or to determine the fact in issue, and the expert has applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.
A series of landmark decisions, commonly called the Daubert Trio (taken from the Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals case), by the Supreme Court has established criteria for the admissibility of an expert witness’s testimony in federal courts. All the following needs to be established:
- The reliability of the techniques underlying a proposed testimony
- Peer-reviewed publications supporting it
- General acceptance of the thoughts and ideas in the relevant field
The attorney may inquire into the reliability in order “to make certain that an expert, whether basing testimony upon professional studies or personal experience, employs in the courtroom the same level of intellectual rigor that characterizes the practice of an expert in the relevant field.”
How they can help you
An expert witness can help establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant was not able to perform the crime they are accused of doing. The lawyers at the Law Office of Travis Koon are criminal defense attorneys who have the knowledge and skills needed find and properly use expert witnesses. The opinion of these people can determine the outcome of a case.
Speak with one of our attorneys today to help fight your legal battles. We are Florida criminal defense attorneys that will help you every step of the way. We have offices in Miami, Gainesville, and Lake City; let our experience work in your favor.