What is an expert?

Protecting Your Freedom

Using Experts in your case can be a vital part of your defense. A lot of people ask me what experts are. Experts are people who have knowledge and expertise in a particular field. There are different types of experts in numerous areas.

When the prosecution uses a fingerprint examiner, an expert witness for the government, to testify about the interpretation of the fingerprints they examined, it is helpful to have your own fingerprint expert look at the same items and review them for correctness or errors. The work your expert does could possibly clear you in a case, or confirm the results of the government's own expert.

I have used several different experts in my practice. One type of expert I used was an eyewitness identification expert. He was involved in the case because of the nature of the identifications made by witnesses and victims identifying my client as the potential perpetrator of a crime. I have also consulted with experts in the field of fingerprint identification, accident and crime scene re-construction, toxicologists, Field Sobriety Tests, and many different types of professionals in differing medical disciplines.

Why are the useful though? It really depends on the nature of the case and the type of expert you have. For example, what if the only thing linking you to a particular crime was a DNA sample from blood? You definitely want an expert on your side review the information related to your case. They could find errors, and provide testimony for your defense to refute the government's experts.

Another thing is while most attorneys have some scientific knowledge, they usually do not have the knowledge necessary to understand the government's expert reports. Sometimes that expert is necessary just to review the documents for the attorney and explain what the reports and information really mean. I mean, do you know what "exsanguination" means?

I write about this because of what happened with the FBI Laboratory's microscopic hair comparison unit. The Justice Department and FBI admitted that, over a 2 decade period, that unit, which had 28 "experts," 26 of these government "experts" testimony was inaccurate in almost every trial they testified in.

It also happened right here in Tennessee. Kyle Bayer, a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent. claimed a man's blood result taken after a fatal accident showed the man's blood alcohol content was .24, 3 times the legal limit. That man was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide. When his expert retested the blood, it turned out he was .01, 1/8 of the legal limit. The TBI then retested the blood and agreed with that expert. An expert saved a man from prison. And the Special Agent is now a former special agent.

So maybe you need an expert in your case. Talk to your lawyer about whether you need an expert for your case today.

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