Can the judge stop me from calling an expert witness?
Expert witnesses that are necessary for criminal defense are constitutionally required. If the defendant cannot pay for an expert, the court must provide the funds.
The Assistance of a Necessary Expert is a Right
The assistance of an expert witness for criminal defense can be vital to the defense of a felony or misdemeanor charge in state or federal court. There are various types of expert witnesses for criminal defense cases, and in some cases, more than one expert may be needed. The cost of an expert can be difficult 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 a client facing a felony or misdemeanor charges when that person does not have the resources to hire an attorney on their own. Just because we are retained, does not mean the same family member will also pay for an expert or that the client has sufficient independent resources to pay expert witness fees.
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
- Firearms Experts
- Blood Spatter Experts
- Forensic Science Experts
- And Many More
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. Courts in Michigan have recognized that defendants with court-appointed and retained lawyers may be indigent and require the appointment of expert witnesses for criminal defense. The constitutional right to expert testimony in those cases where the expertise is essential to a defense is based upon the 6th Amendment right to an attorney and right to present a defense.
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 assist in the defense of their clients. Expert witnesses for criminal defense frequently offer assistance 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 the prosecution of 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 while negotiating for a resolution or plea bargain that is fair to the client.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.