Do I Need an Expert to Defend an OUI Charge in Massachusetts?
An expert is not essential in defending a Massachusetts OUI charge with a breathalyzer test result over.08. The first step in defending an OUI arrest with failed breath test results is to attempt to get the results excluded from admission into evidence at trial. If this motion is successful, expert testimony will not be necessary.
If the motion is denied, you may want to considering hiring an expert. Attorney DelSignore has used expert testimony to obtain a not guilty verdict in two recent cases:
- The client was charged with OUI and blew a.10 on the breath test machine after being involved in an accident. The expert testified that the reading from the machine was inaccurate because it did not measure deep lung air. The jury found the defendant not guilty.
- Another recent case involved a breath test result of.08. While it is not necessary to have an expert on a case of a.08, it is helpful. In this case, the expert was able to explain the margin of error of the machine, resulting in a not guilty verdict.
Attorney DelSignore understand the science behind blood testing and breath testing. Lawyers can challenge evidence though cross examination, but ultimately the court may find that our questions and or arguments do not constitute evidence. In those types of cases, we need our own witness to educate the judge as to the science. This can occur with breath testing or blood testing, either though a hospital blood test or a blood test by the Massachusetts State police.
Here are some of the issues that expert testimony can assist in an OUI defense:
- An expert can explain that a medical condition, like acid reflux, asthma or other medical condition can undermine the assumptions of the breath test machine.
- Temperature is relevant in breath testing and can make the results artificially high. An expert can teach the judge this science to help get the results excluded from evidence.
- In a close case around.08 or.09, an expert can explain the various margins of error that can occur in breath testing.
- In a hospital blood test case, an expert can testify that a hospital blood test is a screening test and not a forensic test. Attorney DelSignore has had experts testify to the flaws in hospital blood testing in OUI cases.
What does it cost to hire an expert?
An expert can be expensive, the typical cost for an expert will start at a minimum of $2500 and the prices will go up depending on the nature of the expert. If it is a local expert, the cost will likely be around $2500 but there are national experts who charge significantly more as they have to be paid not only for their time but for their travel expenses.
Most expert will engage in a preliminary review of the case for a modest fee to determine if their expertise could assist with the defense of the case. This fee typically ranges from $ 350 to $ 500.00 dollars.How is the expert retained?
Depending on the particular issue in your case, Attorney DelSignore will select the best expert to assist in preparing our defense. The goal an expert that can explain the subject matter we want to teach the jury while at the same time retaining an expert that has good communication skills and will be well received by the jury.
If you have any questions about expert testimony in a Massachusetts OUI arrest, feel free to call or text at 781-686-5924. It is never too early or late to call. Weekends and holiday calls are always welcomed as we are here to help.