Expert Witness Criminal Defense

What Role Do Expert Witnesses Play in Criminal Defense Cases?

When you’ve been charged with a crime, your attorney may use a wide range of resources to mount a defense on your behalf. A good attorney knows when it’s time to tap into another person’s strengths and areas of expertise, and that’s why they may bring in expert witnesses. Criminal cases are often incredibly complex, involving a number of technical and scientific concerns that the average person does not understand. An expert witness can cut through dense explanations and concepts, translating them in a way that average people can understand.

Wondering if you need to bring expert witnesses into your case? Let’s talk about it. Call Coumanis & York at 251-336-3121 to set up a consultation with our team of Daphne criminal defense attorneys.


What Expert Witnesses Bring to the Table in Your Case

Expert witnesses are well-versed in specific fields. They play an essential role in many criminal cases; your lawyer knows the law and its limits, but it is impossible to know the scientific and technical details of every type of case. An expert witness can utilize their specialized knowledge to help your attorney either build a stronger case or prove your case in front of a jury. The types of expert witnesses brought in depend largely on the type of charges you’re facing and how strong the case against you is.


An expert witness can add significant credibility to the claims made by your attorney. For example, if your attorney proposes an alternate explanation for how the crime happened, the expert witness may weigh in to explain why that explanation is more probable than the prosecution’s.


An expert witness can also provide clarification and general education on the issues relevant to your case. The weaknesses in the prosecution’s case may be obvious to your attorney because of their work in criminal justice, but those same weaknesses may not be obvious to the average person. Having them pointed out by a neutral third party can change how the jury views the case.


The general benefits of an expert witness often fall into one of two categories: they can strengthen your attorney’s case and weaken the prosecution’s case. When they do both of these at the same time, you benefit even more.


Different Types of Expert Witnesses

The good news about working with a criminal defense lawyer in Mobile is that they likely have a strong network of expert witnesses in a variety of fields. Some of the expert witnesses that may play a role in your defense include:

  • Forensic experts: Forensic experts weigh in on physical evidence produced during the commission of a crime, such as fingerprints, blood splatter, ballistics, and the presence of DNA. To go one step further, some expert witnesses are experts in specific niche areas of forensics.
  • Pathologists: Pathologists can comment on wounds, injuries, and causes of death. They are often brought in during murder and assault cases, as they may support a different explanation for the evidence available or poke holes in the prosecution’s explanation.
  • Mental health professionals: Psychiatrists and psychologists may help comment on a defendant’s mental health diagnoses, their mental state at the time a crime was allegedly committed, and their ability to form intent.
  • Digital forensics experts: This area of expertise is increasingly important as the world becomes more and more dependent on technology. These experts can analyze and interpret digital evidence, including data on devices, cybersecurity flaws, social media posts, and the validity of screenshots.
  • Accident reconstructionists: Accident reconstruction experts are often brought in to discuss vehicle accidents and similar incidents, bringing with them in-depth knowledge of physics, engineering, and traffic laws.


Consulting Expert vs. Testifying Witness

Depending on the needs of your case, your attorney may hire a consulting expert, a testifying witness, or both. A consulting expert is retained to help the attorney understand the technical aspects of your case and assist with the development of legal strategies. Testifying witnesses are called upon to testify in court, commenting on their findings and opinions.


Explore Your Legal Options with Coumanis & York

When you work with the team at Coumanis & York, you can feel confident that we’ll choose the right experts for your case. Our decades of experience have also helped us build our network of expert witnesses throughout Daphne and Mobile. Set up a consultation to talk to our team now by calling us at 251-336-3121 or sending us a message online.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *