Los Angeles DUI Expert Witnesses
When mounting a defense on behalf of a defendant who has been charged with driving under the influence, it may be necessary to call upon a variety of DUI witnesses to provide written declarations or reports, interviews or even testimony in court. While witnesses may be “percipient witnesses” who were present during the incident and can testify directly to what they may have observed or heard, it may also be necessary to call “expert witnesses” who were not present during the incident but who have studied the case and can provide an expert opinion regarding a variety of subjects. DUI cases often involve complex scientific facts and it may be necessary to have an expert witness on board who can testify on behalf of the defendant. In certain cases, having the right expert opinion can make a huge difference in the outcome of a case.
The California Evidence Code defines an expert witness as a person who has special knowledge, skill, experience, training or education sufficient to qualify him or her as an expert on the subject that he or she is testifying about. With DUI cases, experts can be called to testify about a number of subjects that may show why the defendant was not driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. Both the prosecution and defense can call expert witnesses and both sides would have an opportunity to cross examine any expert called by the other side.
Frequently, defense attorneys will use toxicology experts to testify about a number of subjects. These experts may be toxicologists who formerly worked with the County or state and understand many of the inherent problems with both the breath and blood test. A toxicologist can testify regarding the defendant’s absorption of alcohol and whether or not the defendant had a rising or falling blood alcohol level at the time he or she was driving. This can be critical because in many cases, a toxicologist may be able to show how a defendant had a BAC below 0.08 percent at the time of driving but tested above .08% later at the time of testing as the result of a rising blood alcohol level. Toxicologists can also testify regarding the withdrawal and testing of blood samples and some of the problems that can lead to an inaccurate blood alcohol result when the blood test is used. Toxicologist expert witness can be very helpful both during the criminal trial and at a driver’s DMV administrative hearing.
When DUI defendants are involved in accidents that have caused injury or death to someone else, it may be necessary to call an accident reconstruction expert. These witnesses often have experience working with the CHP or other law enforcement agencies and can analyze an accident scene to determine what factors may have contributed to or exacerbated the collision. In many cases, the accident may have been unavoidable and the defendant’s impairment was not responsible for the accident. In these cases, an expert’s report or testimony can be critical.
In many cases, the defense may elect to call a medical expert to testify regarding a number of different subjects. The defendant may have been suffering from a condition that may have given the appearance of intoxication. For example, some defendants who suffer from diabetes can appear to be intoxicated when their blood sugar is low and may even produce ketones which give their breath a sweet smell that is often mistaken for alcohol. Ketones can also affect the defendant’s performance on a breath test and can lead to higher blood alcohol readings. A medical expert or doctor can explain the defendant’s condition and why the officer’s observations and even breath test results were not indicative of alcohol intoxication.
If you have been charged with DUI, it is imperative that you consult with a Los Angeles DUI Attorney right away. Lawyer Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who works with the top experts in the field when fighting DUI cases. In many cases, Mr. Kraut’s diligence has led to charges being dismissed or significantly reduced.
For more information about DUI expert witnesses, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.