Free «Expert Witness» Essay
An expert witness is a person who has outstanding skills in a certain field or subject. He uses his skills to represent a convicted person in a court of law. He may not be a direct witness to a crime to represent a prosecuted person. If an expert witness is to attend the court, the rule of law offers an exemption against the clause that restricts the use of personal opinion. This is possible on condition that the expert witness is to offer valid credentials that prove his competency. The professional can offer an expert opinion in a quite particular way. Qualifications are paramount for an expert witness to be accepted in a case proceeding.
Conducting a background check on an expert witness is vital before commencing a trial. A comprehensive background check on an expert witness may uncover some information which can discredit him during a trial. Such information may alter the outcome of a ruling. If the expert is deemed incompetent, the ruling may take a positive turn and favor the accused. Some of the information uncovered from the background investigation may bring to light forged credentials used by an expert. This means that his contributions in court can be nullified. In such event, the expert can be charged with falsifying information. To avoid such setbacks during a trial, it is always advisable to conduct an investigation prior to a case proceeding.
Having credibility in the eyes of a judge and the jury is important to every expert witness. This can only be attained by having the right documentation or certificates showing that the expert in question is qualified. Credentials may include education certificates, awards, honorary recognitions, and a statement of working experience. Credentials show that an expert is licensed to perform in a certain field. They can also show his level of experience by checking the period he has been active in duty. If the records indicate that he has been working for over ten years, then his expert opinion will influence the court decision.(Nutt, 2009). An expert witness who lacks good credentials may not be taken seriously during court cases.
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There are two reasons why a convicted person needs a witness. First, having an expert in a case increases the chances of attaining a positive outcome, because a defense at a legal perspective by an attorney may not be enough to win a case. This is more so if there are real evidences against a client. The evidence could be a solid material as well as testimonies from the witnesses who were actually at the scene of the crime. In such a scenario, the expert can offer his expert opinion from his personal experience, which could sway the ruling of the case. Secondly, a prosecuted person may run out of finances to acquire the services of a highly acclaimed attorney. Sometimes, a person may commence an action without knowing how much it will cost him. An expert can help retain a case despite its lack of a proficient attorney.
It is not necessarily for an expert witness to be a highly educated individual with a lot of certifications (Mosley, n.d.). He can be a lowly educated mechanic who has worked in a garage for over 10 years. However, his experience in this profession is what will be taken into consideration during a proceeding. His testimony will be regarded as an expert’s opinion. Moreover, it will be considered valuable in making the verdict of the accused. However, such a person should have referees that can profess to have known the person during his time in work. Any person can become an expert witness as long as he/she has a remarkable experience in a certain field of work.
In conclusion, an expert witness plays an important role in a criminal trial. His testimony can influence a ruling. However, they must have viable certifications in order to be considered qualified to offer their expert opinion. Prove of qualification is a very important tool for every expert witness as it gives them credibility in the eyes of the judge and the jury. Even if an accused person hires a lawyer, having an expert witness can increase the chances of attaining a positive outcome. Any person can become an expert witness as he/she is qualified in a certain field with an experience of many years.
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