Examination of a Prosecution Expert
After the arresting officer testifies in a New Jersey DWI / DUI trial, the prosecutor typically calls a lab technician from the state lab – the prosecutor’s “expert.” The lab technician always presents evidence that points to a defendant’s guilt, but an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer can aggressively cross-examine the lab technician, as well as call an independent expert to testify to counteract the prosecution toxicological testimony.
The lab tech will testify about receiving the blood or urine sample, and how he or she tested the sample and determined the result.
Once the prosecutor finishes questioning his or her expert, the attorney can begin an aggressive cross-examination. A skilled NJ DWI defense lawyer will seize this opportunity to show flaws or potential problems in the method of testing or how the testing was actually performed.
A skilled DWI / DUI defense attorney will hold the prosecution to its burden of proving the driver’s blood or urine tests were done according to accepted scientific method, and that all protocols and procedures were followed. If it can be demonstrated through cross-examination that the procedures were not followed, then the blood or urine tests can be excluded from evidence.
Skillful cross-examination by the defense can greatly diminish the impact of the prosecution’s expert. An experienced NJ DWI /DUI defense attorney will cross-examine the prosecution’s expert to attempt to weaken the prosecutor’s case and create reasonable doubt in the driver’s guilt.
Evan Levow represented the defendants in the two leading blood testing evidence cases in New Jersey, State v. Renshaw and State v. Kent. These cases resulted in requiring prosecutors to bring in the phlebotomist, who drew the blood from the driver, or the officer who collected the urine sample, to testify about how the sample was collected, as well as bringing in the lab technician, who tested the sample, to testify about how he or she conducted the testing. Prior to the Renshaw case, the phlebotomist did not have to testify in order for the state to get the blood sample into evidence. Prior to the Kent case, the prosecutor was able to submit the lab testing documents as proof of the lab results. Now, all drivers charged with blood or urine based DWI / DUI offenses have their constitutional right of confrontation protected.
The lawyers at Levow DWI Law have attended multiple seminars and courses on cross-examination techniques and blood and urine testing issues.
Please contact Levow DWI Law today for a free NJ DWI consultation and to discuss the issues in your case.