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Criminology Expert Witness Explains Application of Forensic Sociology in Civil Cases

Cases that involve the need for forensic sociology usually have various applications, processes and methods derived from the hired criminology expert witness. Understanding these and how they are needed for civil litigation is necessary for a lawyer to research the experts available and pick the proper one for his or her case.

A criminology expert witness may have a background in forensic sociology that is greatly helpful in the courtroom and with dealing with the case. A social scientist usually has the knowledge of why society behaves and acts the way it does. When applied to the micro level, this generally means individuals interacting with others. On the macro level, this often details the ebb and flow of an entire society based on history, behavior and social norms. A forensic sociologist applies the science of society to criminal behavior. He or she has a grasp on the why and how of these persons which then explains motivation, means, process and other factors.

Scientists with a sociology and forensic background are often hired more due to their role as both defense and plaintiff clients for criminal and civil matters in the courtroom. Their analyses are comprehensive
and assist with foreseeing crimes, security concerns, negligence and liability. Their experience permits them to examine crimes that have occurred in a specific location, determine the circumstances of the entire event and then help in foreseeing if these issues will occur again. Sometimes, they are able to link multiple crimes to a single person, and if there is the chance of more than one perpetrator, these experts may be able to discern this.

Criminology Expert Witness Explained

Research and consultation on behalf of a lawyer in civil litigation is often the aspect used by a criminology expert witness. These persons have a background in forensic sociology so that they are able to profile criminals, prevent crimes from occurring based on fact and explain the details pertaining to these incidents. It is often important that these experts are provided the time to give testimony in the case so that judge or jury understand the factors surrounding the event. This means the professional may have additional details that must be heard to be believed. This information is used to compensate the victim and in criminal cases, follow through with a conviction.

Social sciences are used to base the facts on when applied to society and individuals. Behavioral patterns, attachment to social mores and norms and predictions based on these elements are all part of what these experts understand and deal with regularly. When there are few facts, a sociology expert may be hired to recreate the incident and determine the motive and various other elements based on behavior and interactions with the accused individual. This could be considered a basis of character by some. As the sciences branch out, it is no longer just the psychologists being hired to understand how the possible perpetrator committed the acts and why.

The Social Framework

In litigation, the sociologist is able to research and provide expert testimony in the courtroom. The mainstream and branches of social sciences are included in these proceedings. This gives the judge and jury the ability to apply these facts to the case. The expert may explain to the courtroom how eyewitness testimony is fallible and could be unreliable based on certain factors. Some interrogators in law enforcement may have obtained a confession illegally, or that there could be a false confession provided by a witness. Other concerns may include wrongful conviction, illegal acts committed by the perpetrator that were not initially included and various other matters.

The analysis of a criminology expert is important and may be used for a social framework in evidence and other issues. The expert may be helpful for liability in premises matters, negligence and victim crimes where the actions of the perpetrator caused trauma. If the issue is about a negligent landlord, physician or other professional, the expert is able to explain the conditions or liability so that the plaintiff has an increased chance of success. In some instances, this could lead to punitive damages in addition to other compensation.

The Need for Criminology Expert Witnesses

The expert witness with a background in criminology and forensic sociology could be vital in understanding the elements of the case. He or she may explain the conflict, the injuries, the policies and behavior of the perpetrator. This is detailed to the judge or jury for a potential positive outcome.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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