Forensic Knowledge In Criminal Defense
More and more often criminal cases are being fought on the forensic front: DNA evidence, forensic pathology, cellphone technology, computer forensics and expert testimony of all kinds. It is imperative that today's criminal defense attorney be familiar with the forensics involved in criminal cases and adept at defending and presenting forensic evidence. Prosecutors frequently use "experts" hoping to sway the jury, but far too often, these experts are less than qualified, have used questionable methods or have reached faulty conclusions.
Andrew H. Stevenson, Attorney At Law
Forensic knowledge in criminal law proceedings is crucial. I have more than 20 years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer and a Ph.D. in criminology. In my career as an attorney, I have obtained extensive experience and knowledge regarding forensic evidence and procedures. When combined with my commitment to thorough research and dedicated case preparation, this knowledge is a tremendous benefit to my clients.
Using Forensic Knowledge
"Where many attorneys might read a forensic report and move forward under the presumption that everything is accurate, I break down this evidence thoroughly to bolster my clients' cases. I have the knowledge and experience in scientific method to break down this evidence, find errors and win for my clients."
My knowledge of forensics benefits my clients in a variety of ways:
- DNA evidence: This is perhaps the most critical piece of forensic evidence in the modern criminal trial. Everything from murder to petty theft often comes down to DNA evidence left at the scene of the crime.
- Toxicology reports: In DUI and OVI cases especially, toxicology comes into play to determine the levels of intoxicants in suspects' systems, and toxicology comes into play in other criminal cases as well.
- Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS): This forensic method is used commonly in drug cases as well as in OVI cases involving blood or urine tests. It is used to detect and identify substances as well as quantify the amount of drug or substance present.
- Forensic pathology: Understanding the coroner's report and the medical conclusions is vital to successful defense of murder cases. I ask the "why" and "how" questions so that I can present an effective defense at trial. I will consult with the coroner who did the autopsy as well as obtain an independent review and/or get second opinions where called upon to do so.
- Abusive head trauma and multiple fractures: Successful defense of these types of cases requires a solid understanding of the medical processes involved, including things such as brain hemorrhages, dural rebleeds, contrecoup effect, venous thrombosis, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, rickets, classic metaphyseal lesions and more.
- Fingerprints: I have worked closely with fingerprint experts in many cases. I am familiar with the importance of obtaining a second opinion when it comes to "subjective" forensic sciences such as fingerprints and handwriting analysis.
These are just a few of the important aspects of forensics I handle in my practice. My experience and knowledge provide benefit in understanding complex scientific evidence, cross-examination of expert witnesses and other important aspects of criminal defense.
"I challenge everything. Working with a private investigator and a team of forensic experts, I leave no stone unturned. If there is any error in the forensic evidence, I will find it."
Contact Me To Discuss Your Case
I offer free initial consultations and have offices in Lancaster and Athens, Ohio.