Can the judge stop me from calling an expert witness?

Expert witnesses that are necessary for criminal defense are constitutionally required. The court must provide the funds if the defendant cannot afford an expert.

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The Assistance of a Necessary Expert is a Right

Criminal Defense Expert Witness

The assistance of an expert witness for criminal defense can be vital to defending a felony or misdemeanor charge in state or federal court. There are various expert witnesses for criminal defense cases, and more than one expert may be needed in some cases. An expert’s cost can be challenging to finance, even in cases where someone has privately hired a top criminal defense attorney. Family members frequently hire LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. to represent clients facing felony or misdemeanor charges when they do not have the resources to hire an expert. A court must provide reasonable fees to hire defense experts if the defendant doesn’t have the resources to hire a necessary expert witness.

Types of Experts Include (to name a few):

  • Computer Forensic Experts
  • Fingerprint Analysts
  • Accounting or Finance Experts
  • Polygraphists/Polygraph  Examiners
  • Private Investigators
  • DNA Experts
  • Medical Experts
  • Child Sexual Abuse/Interview Experts
  • OWI/DUI Experts
  • Toxicologists
  • Firearms Experts
  • Blood Spatter Experts
  • Forensic Science Experts
  • And Many More

Challenging the Prosecution: The Impact of Expert Testimony

In the intricate arena of criminal defense, the strategic use of expert testimony can be a game-changer, turning the tide in favor of the defense by challenging the prosecution’s evidence and assertions. At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., we understand the profound impact that expert witnesses can have on the outcome of a case. Their specialized knowledge and insights can dissect and counter the prosecution’s claims, introducing doubt and fostering a more comprehensive examination of the evidence at hand.

Expert testimony can dismantle the prosecution’s narrative by offering alternative interpretations of forensic evidence, technical data, or psychological evaluations. For instance, in DNA evidence cases, a forensic expert can scrutinize the methods used in collecting, analyzing, and interpreting the DNA samples, potentially uncovering procedural flaws or misinterpretations that could weaken the prosecution’s case. Similarly, in cases alleging financial crimes, a financial expert can elucidate complex transactions and accounting practices, challenging allegations of malfeasance.

Moreover, expert witnesses can be crucial in elucidating technical or specialized information for the judge and jury, making complex concepts accessible and understandable. This clarity can be pivotal in swaying the jury’s perception and interpretation of the evidence, fostering a more informed and nuanced deliberation process.

The decision to employ expert testimony is made with careful consideration of the case’s specifics, the evidence in question, and the potential impact on the defense strategy. At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., our approach is to meticulously prepare our expert witnesses, ensuring their testimony is not only credible and authoritative but also clear and compelling to those without specialized knowledge.

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Understanding the Costs: Investing in Expert Witnesses

In any criminal defense case, the decision to invest in expert witnesses is often met with concern about the associated costs. However, LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. encourages our clients to consider a different, more critical perspective: “What is the cost of not hiring a qualified expert?” This question shifts the focus from immediate financial expenditure to the long-term implications of the case’s outcome.

Not securing the testimony of a qualified expert can have far-reaching consequences, particularly when an expert analysis is pivotal to challenging the prosecution’s evidence or presenting a credible defense. Without this crucial input, the defense may lack the necessary depth and rigor to counter the charges effectively, potentially leading to a less favorable outcome. The “cost” of this decision can manifest in several severe ways.

Firstly, the absence of expert testimony may significantly increase the likelihood of a conviction, leading to a permanent criminal record. This outcome can have a domino effect on one’s life, affecting employment opportunities, professional licensing, and even personal relationships. For professionals in fields where integrity and trustworthiness are paramount, a criminal record could mean the end of their career.

Furthermore, a conviction may result in the loss of civil rights, such as possessing firearms, voting, or holding public office. The impact on one’s social standing and reputation can be profound and lasting, affecting community relationships and future prospects.

The financial implications of not investing in expert witnesses also extend beyond the cost of the defense itself. A conviction can lead to fines, restitution, and the loss of earning potential, not to mention the potential for imprisonment and the personal and emotional toll it takes on individuals and their families.

At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., we understand that the upfront cost of hiring expert witnesses may seem daunting. However, we also recognize the invaluable role they play in crafting a robust defense strategy. Our approach is to work closely with our clients, assessing the specifics of each case to determine the most effective use of resources, including when and how to deploy expert testimony to our client’s best advantage.

Expert Witnesses for Criminal Defense When the Defendant is Indigent

In the recent case of Hilton v. Alabama, the United States Supreme Court ruled that an attorney who fails to seek funds from the court to pay for an expert is constitutionally ineffective when a reasonable and available defense strategy requires consultation with an expert or the introduction of expert evidence. In Michigan, courts have recognized that defendants with court-appointed and retained lawyers may be indigent and need an appointed expert witness. The constitutional right to expert testimony is part of the 6th Amendment right to an attorney and the right to present a defense.

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Defense Lawyers with Extensive Experience Working with Expert Witnesses for Criminal Defense

The defense team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has extensive experience working with expert witnesses who help defend their clients. Expert witnesses for criminal defense frequently assist in OWI charges, domestic violence, homicide and weapons cases, assault charges, healthcare fraud, embezzlement, white-collar crimes, and computer crimes. Prosecutors have experts who assist them with prosecuting felony and misdemeanor cases (frequently who work for the government in some capacity). Defense lawyers must be as experienced and comfortable with experts to be effective at jury trial and, if appropriate, while negotiating for a fair resolution or plea bargain for the client.

If you are charged with a federal crime or a state felony or misdemeanor case in Oakland County, Wayne County, Washtenaw County, or anywhere in Michigan, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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