If prosecutors have charged you with driving under the influence of alcohol, you may worry about the many potentially serious consequences you may face upon conviction. After all, in Virginia, first-time DUI penalties range from license suspension to incarceration.
Defending yourself aggressive against DUI charges may help you avoid some or all of these penalties. When preparing your defense, your defense attorney may ask expert witnesses to testify on your behalf.
Who is an expert witness?
An expert witness is someone who has a high level of education, experience and training in his or her professional field. In DUI cases, expert witnesses investigate specific or technical matters and issue informed opinions about them. Your attorney may use the opinion of an expert witness to negotiate with prosecutors before a trial or defend you during one.
What types of expert witnesses may be helpful?
Mounting a DUI defense does not always require working with expert witnesses, so your attorney is likely to counsel you on whether you need one or more of them. Still, the following types of expert witnesses may be worth considering:
- A toxicologist who may testify about how alcohol affects your body
- A law enforcement professional who may testify about police procedures
- An accident reconstructionist who may testify about an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident
- A testing specialist who may testify about breath or field sobriety tests
- Any other expert witness who may testify about the matter
If you and your attorney decide to work with expert witnesses, you typically must pay for their time and expertise. Still, if an expert witness improves your chances of beating DUI charges, the added expense may pale in comparison to the potential consequences of a conviction.