The best trained Illinois DUI lawyers know that if you are going to take an IL DUI case to trial you will sometimes need a DUI Expert Witness. Expert Witnesses are witnesses who have a specialty recognized by the courts. They are typically people with Ph.D. degrees, medical degrees, or some other advanced type of degree. They have spent years researching and often applying that research to real world applications.
For an Illinois DUI case there are several different types of DUI expert witnesses that may be useful in helping to explain the science behind the DUI detection, arrest, and processing procedures.
A Standardized Field Sobriety Training expert witness can be useful to show the jury how the tests were designed, what they are designed to test, and how differences between what the arresting officer did and what he was trained to do affects his conclusions that you were intoxicated. These experts will often write a detailed report after reviewing the videotape of the SFST’s, reading the police reports, and doing further investigation where necessary.
A DUI breath machine expert witness is useful to explain to the jury how the machines function, the fallibility of the machines, and any thing that was done in your case, or with the machine you were tested on that could affect the breath results reading. Breath machine maintenance is a huge factor. If the breath machine is off slightly it can cause your BAC reading to be extraordinarily high.
Forensic toxicologist are useful for certain IL DUI defenses. Most Illinois DUI lawyers will use a forensic toxicologist if they intend to argue a “rising BAC defense.” This defense is based on the fact that Illinois DUI law forbids being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Just because you test .08 BAC does not mean you were at that BAC level at the time you were stopped. Your BAC level does not remain steady. It rises and lowers at about .02 per hour. Thus, if you were arrested and tested .08, but your BAC was rising, it is possible your BAC was only .06 at the time you were stopped if it took the officer an hour to transport you to the police station and test you on the DUI breath machine. (An hour would not be an unreasonable time frame for a majority of DUI’s.)
After review of your case we will explain the pros and cons of hiring an Illinois DUI expert witness. Ultimately, it is your decision, and different experts have different payment options. Whether an Illinois DUI expert witness is necessary is not a decision that can be made until after a thorough review of all of the evidence. As your Illinois DUI lawyer, we want to build your defense as strong as possible, but with as a minimal impact on your finances and your future as possible. Call us today for a free, confidential evaluation.