During a DUI trial, the prosecution may call witnesses to the stand, whose accounts could help them obtain a conviction. Your defense attorney may also call witnesses whose testimony may aid in your defense. In addition to police witnesses, the prosecution could call experts and layman observers if they believe their testimony will be useful. It is critical that you retain an experienced Hall County DUI attorney to defend against the damaging accounts of a DUI witness. Witnesses for both the defense and prosecution are subject to cross-examination, which is an opportunity to discredit their testimony and potentially impeach a witness.
If the prosecution calls an expert witness to provide damaging testimony, your attorney may hire an expert witness in the same field to contest the statements of the prosecution's witness. When confronted with an expert in a given field, it can be tricky for a lawyer, even with aggressive cross-examination techniques, to discredit the validity of a professional opinion. For this reason, bringing in another expert witness in the same field on behalf of the defense is a logical move.
A witness is permitted to testify on what they experienced first-hand, not that which they were told. This would amount to hearsay, which is not admissible in court.
If you have been charged with DUI in Hall County, contact a Hall County DUI attorney with experience cross-examining witnesses and defending these types of charges. A Hall County DUI attorney will be able to give you more information about how to fight your charges, contest witness testimony, and protect your rights and driving privileges.
Types of Witnesses That May Testify in Your DUI Case
Passengers, bartenders, alleged victims, police officers, other drivers and scientific experts all may be brought to the stand as witnesses in your DUI case. Depending on the nature of their testimony and how they are cross-examined, their statements may help or hurt your case.
Expert witnesses in DUI cases can be used to testify about chemical testing, accident reconstruction, and sobriety tests, for example. A former policeman may take the stand as a "DUI expert witness," citing expertise in field sobriety tests, the effects of alcohol on the body, Drug Recognition Expert Protocol, and possibly the theory and science of evidential breath alcohol testing. A toxicologist expert witness for the defense may testify as to the flaws of chemical testing. Fermentation of a sample and improper calibration are some of the topics such a witness may discuss.
An excellent point that your attorney can make, when backed by an expert witness, involves the rebuttal of certain assumptions about blood alcohol content. When testing a suspect's BAC at the station, authorities assume if a person is impaired at the time of the test, he or she likely was impaired while driving. If anything, the police sometimes assume the BAC may have fallen by the time of the test. In other words, law enforcement assumes that the person's BAC is falling. In actuality, the person's BAC may be rising. To argue such a point, the attorney may need an expert witness to give testimony about the way alcohol affects the body.
Some people make a career out of being an expert witness in criminal cases. If the matter in question is relevant to the area of expertise, they are eager to provide expert testimony.
Non-expert witnesses who were party to your DUI in some way, such as passengers, other drivers, and bartenders may testify.
If there was an adult passenger in your vehicle, it may be useful to present them as a witness to the effect that you were not significantly impaired. In some cases, passenger testimony may bolster your case before the jury, because they would assume no one would get into the car of someone who was exceedingly drunk and risk their own life. It may not be a good idea to bring a passenger to the stand if they themselves were very drunk or could not present credible, compelling testimony to the jury.
A bartender or person in a similar role might be useful to present as a witness. For example, if they served you two beers and saw you leave within the hour, their testimony may help your case. Alternatively, if the bartender kicked you out for acting belligerently after drinking, you would not want to have the bartender take the stand.
If your driving performance was relatively satisfactory, the testimony of other drivers may aid in your case. If however other drivers saw you driving erratically or called 911, they will likely be called to testify by the prosecution, which could be very damaging to your case. Your attorney will expertly cross-examine such a witness in order to discredit his or her statements.
Hall County DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Hall County, it is imperative that you hire a skilled Hall County DUI attorney who can discredit witness testimony where necessary. Immediately contact a Hall County DUI attorney to discuss your charges today.