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Use of Chemistry Expert Witness in Drug Charges

Drug charges often require an expert to analyze the data, understand the full elements of the case and explain these issues to the courtroom for a better awareness of each factor. Without an expert to assess a blood or urine sample, the results may remain unverified which may assist in releasing a guilty party without the necessary conviction he or she may incur.

Drugs in the Blood Stream

When the perpetrator facing criminal charges is in the courtroom, he or she may exhibit signs at trial or before that may explain certain instances of behavior. The expert witness with a chemistry background could use testing methods that are proven to expose the drugs in the bloodstream. Through testimony, the expert witness may provide details that explain behavior, erratic actions and even criminal activity. It is possible for the professional to discuss the matter more in depth once results become conclusive through blood testing. Some experts may need to test the blood at different times to uncover other matters such as secondary or additional drugs in the system.

Forensic Medicine

Through testing and using other methods to discover what is in the blood, the expert may piece together or work with another professional
to hold the person to a certain set of actions or within a criminal timeline. These matters could corroborate a story the prosecution will explain to the courtroom in holding the defendant responsible for the illegal activity that happened. Using the different testing methods may also increase the strength of the claim in exposing the point of greatest concentration of the drugs in the system which could also explain particular behavior such as violence or rage.

Working with Law Enforcement

Many experts with a chemistry background may work with law enforcement at some point or currently help and assist in drug charges. Discovering if the substance that is part of the investigation is a certain drug is important. For other problems where those affected ingest the drug, sometimes a chemistry professional will need to determine if there are additional compounds or chemicals in the drugs that are harming the individual or group. This is especially important when a new drug hits the streets that may intentionally hurt or unintentionally damage the insides of the victims.

Experts that work with law enforcement may also have a background in drug regulations, rehabilitation services and counseling. Understanding the root of addiction and how best to beat it is crucial to help others kick the habit of various drugs. For those that have knowledge and experience in interviews and interrogation, the expert may use psychology to determine certain issues connected with the perpetrator connected to the drug charges. He or she may also help in making deals that will assist police in uncovering a larger scale operation or with higher up drug cartel bosses.

Other Areas of Expertise

Chemistry expert witnesses may have expertise in several different subjects and fields of study. Because of this, methods to determine various results involved in drug charges may differ. However, the tests are a reflection of what the prosecution or defendant wants based on which side the expert works for and what he or she will do with the evidence. This may result in explaining drug levels in the blood, determining amounts of different compounds or elements and testifying about these items in a manner that is easier for the courtroom to understand. When the expert works for rehabilitation or treatment services, processes may also include how to proceed with life after the case.

Laboratory Testing

Some experts with a background and expertise in chemistry will have laboratories that will assist with the testing of the drugs. Some of these substances are legal for a prescription, but others are illegal and may require further testing to separate the different compounds. Chemistry expert witnesses may need to testify about patents, intellectual property violations and analysis to determine if infringement of a patent occurred. While these cases are generally more civil related, the expert witness may still have similar tasks as with criminal cases.

The Subject of the Lawsuit

Whether the expert witness works for criminal justice or litigation, the subject material may relate to drug abuse with pharmacology medicine or even recreational or illegal substances. This may also involve substance abuse and instances of withdrawal. The expert may need to explain erratic behavior, odd activities and how the drug charges should remain valid even if addiction is part of the proceedings.

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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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