Friday, December 27, 2013

Keys to Choosing an Expert Witness

Criminal cases are won by a single expert testimony, be it by a ballistics specialist, a criminal psychology professional or a toxicologist. Oftentimes, it is the lawyer’s job to secure a witness who can help disprove his client’s involvement in the case. So how exactly does one choose an expert witness?

Choose the Field

Fields of specialization include forensic, environmental, and medical toxicology, internal medicine, and clinical pharmacology. For example, if the case involves poisoning, then you should look for a toxicology expert witness. You can also get in touch with a reputable expert witness referral service for assistance.


You will have to hire an expert witness that will act as a consultant to study the case and provide results. A ballistics expert for instance, will inspect bullet wounds and trajectories to find a link between the suspect and the victim. A toxicologist on the other hand, will check for evidence of administered poisons to find out if the victim indeed died or was almost killed by poisoning.


After the expert has obtained results, the court will convene him to testify (take note that you have the call on how much information the witness can divulge, as long as you’re not burying evidence). You may also need to brief your expert on what questions he might be facing in the course of his examination and cross-examination.

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