Defense Experts and Investigators

In some criminal defense cases, it is essential that you retain an expert to assist in the preparation of your case.

Any issue that arises in your case that is technical, medical, or otherwise not within the common knowledge of a jury can be explained by an expert in that field. When your case depends on an issue that requires expert testimony, like a faulty eyewitness identification, the credibility and quality of your expert witness may be the deciding factor at your trial.

When Do You Need an Expert Witness in a Criminal Case?

Expert witnesses can be used, and sometimes must be used, for a wide range of issues that can arise in any criminal case, large or small. Some common examples include:

  • DUI defense: Expert witnesses may be used to explain to the jurors how the officer did not properly conduct the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs), how an error in the Datamaster (breathalyzer) machine can result in a false result, or the effects that a certain level of drugs in a person’s system has on their ability to drive;
  • Eyewitness identifications: There are several issues that can arise from eyewitness identifications, including the problems with cross-racial identifications or suggestive lineups;
  • Forensic evaluations: When the court orders a competency or criminal responsibility evaluation, the state will conduct an evaluation but the defendant will also need to have an independent evaluation done;
  • False confessions: People don’t confess to crimes they didn’t commit. Or do they? If investigators used psychologically coercive tactics to obtain an incriminating statement, an expert witness can explain to jurors why an innocent person would confess to a crime they did not commit when that person is interrogated in a certain way;
  • Murder cases: Some murder cases require experts in crime scene analysis to assist in analyzing the State’s ballistics results, gunshot residue (GSR) tests, footwear impressions, fingerprint comparisons, or other forensic evidence;
  • Drug cases: An expert dog trainer can testify as to how the K-9 officer was signaling his dog to alert on the car, or a chemist may be needed to test or weigh the drugs;
  • DNA experts: Independent DNA labs assist with interpreting the government lab’s results and conducting independent tests of DNA collected from the crime scene or suspects; and
  • Doctors: Expert medical testimony may be needed from a range of specialists to interpret medical records, autopsy results, or rape trauma kits.

The list of possible situations where an expert may be needed would be endless. Any issue that requires technical expertise justifies retaining an expert. Some issues, like the need for a forensic evaluation, require the use of experts.

When Should I Use a Private Investigator in a Criminal Case?

Most cases would absolutely benefit from the use of a defense investigator. There are, however, some situations where it is necessary to provide an effective defense. These include:

  • There are a large number of witnesses;
  • There are witnesses who are difficult to find or hostile;
  • You need to do surveillance on a person;
  • You need photographs or video to use as evidence at trial; or
  • You need an expert in online sleuthing to identify individuals or gather evidence.

Like with expert witnesses, the list of possible situations where you may need the services of a private criminal defense investigator are endless and sometimes unanticipated.

SC Criminal Defense Firm in Columbia, Lexington, and Myrtle Beach

Lacey Thompson accepts only criminal defense cases. When we see an issue in your case that requires an expert witness or a defense investigator we will let you know immediately – we have a range of experts and investigators available who can assist with any issue that arises in your case.

If you have questions about whether you need an expert witness or private defense investigator in your case and you have not yet retained a defense lawyer, call the Thompson Defense Firm now at (843) 444-6122 or contact us online to find out what your options are and how we can help.

Client Reviews
Mindi and Laura were an amazing team team in helping my son with a traffic violation. There responsiveness from answering my phone call, to being able to pay the invoice online, showing up to court and representing my son for a ticket in less than 24 hours. Not to mention successfully having the ticket dismissed. The process was explained to us clearly each step of the way. This allowed us to prepare for any possible ramifications as well being patient with any questions we may have had. Even if the ticket did not get dismissed the care and attention they showed towards my son's situation made us feel very safe in their good hands for this legal matter. N. Jones
I retained Lacey Thompson & Hiller, defense firm for a difficult domestic violence case. She provided a strategy that won my case. Her legal skills are great, but just as important she's a supportive attorney who truly cares and her advice was spot on. I'll always be thankful. Besides Lacey, all the staff that I worked with at Thompson & Hiller firm were terrific: competent, professional, and personable. I recommend Lacey Thompson to everybody who needs a defense attorney. Anonymous
Attorney Laura Hiller, assisted me in 2013 by representing my daughter who at the time was only (14) years old in a juvenile criminal case being tried as an adult. The State charged her with murder. The claims at the time were completely shocking to myself and my daughter at the time and I wasn't sure what to do or who I needed to assist me with this. That's when I met Laura, who in all honesty kept me sane and hopeful through the entire process. She was so thorough when it came to gathering all information from all parties involved, aggressive when stepping into the courtroom, and behind the scenes. Most importantly though she was invested in proving my daughters innocence and I will forever be grateful for her and her work. My daughter's case was dismissed! Definitely who you want in your corner, whether the case is big or small. L.P.M.