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October 3, 2012

The Use Of Experts In Criminal Cases

By Michael H. Joseph

From our White Plains office our experienced Westchester criminal defense lawyers have handled hundreds of criminal cases. Often, where a defendant is innocent, they are blindsided by an accusation which they know nothing about. Often these charges are based on faulty evidence and baseless speculation. Our White Plains criminal defense lawyers have used experts in a number of scenarios to challenge the government’s evidence. A few examples are as follows.

In robbery cases, often there is a tape of the incident and then some local police department just says the person is on the tape is someone that they are after. The result is that innocent people are being framed. Our Westchester criminal defense lawyers in a recent case had the tape analyzed by a well credentialed facial recognition expert who opined that the perpetrator was not our client and was able to offer substantial and convincing analysis by identifying differences in body type, height and facial structure.

In motor vehicle cases including Driving While Intoxicated, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of the accident, among others, our criminal defense attorneys have had accident reconstruction experts to analyze the physical evidence from the scene and challenge the state’s theory of how an accident occurred. In another case, the expert was able to determine that the damage pattern on the vehicles did not match and as such, the car was not involved in the accident described by the complaining witness.

Our Westchester criminal defense lawyers have successfully challenged numerous gravity knife cases by hiring a cutlery expert, who can demonstrate that the knife in question was not a gravity knife based upon the mechanics of how the knife opens.

In another case, our lawyers challenged the authenticity of a taped confession and corroborated that threats were made by having the tape reviewed by an audio engineer who opined that the tape showed definite discontinuities, as such, the tape was not a full and fair account of what happened during the interview.

In another case, we were able to use a ballistics expert to testify that our client was not the shooter because he did had a negative gun shot residue test, which meant that he did not fire a gun. The same expert was also able to dispute the significance of a witness’s testimony that our client had a revolver where shells were found at the scene because revolvers do not discharge shells, they retain them in the compartment.

In another sex abuse claim, our criminal defense lawyers actually used the government’s forensic expert to show that semen did not match our client and the existence of semen from different individuals showed sexual activity with multiple partners within a short period of time prior to our client being accused.

In a case where our client was accused of having sex with a complaining witness who claimed she must have been unconscious because she did not remember the incident, another expert was able to establish that memory loss was caused by the combined effect of alcohol and drugs which the complaining witness voluntarily took after the alleged sexual activity.

Experts can be utilized in a wide variety of criminal cases to challenge the government’s evidence. Often a case becomes a he said, she said situation but an expert provides a high degree of credibility to challenge the government’s case.

Our criminal defense lawyers have handled criminal cases in the criminal courts of Westchester including White Plains, Scarsdale, New Rochelle, Mamaroneck, Ossining, Valhalla, Port Chester, Bronxville, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Valhalla, Scarsdale, Rye, Tarrytown, Greenburgh, Elmsford and Hartsdale.

 
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