Dishonesty in DUI Case Testimony

by : Artgib

When it comes to court time, the prosecution (police or sheriff's department) will often use evidence from their key witness in the crime lab. The expert that provides evidence of toxicology is the crime lab's blood-alcohol expert. These key witnesses, often called forensic toxicologists, will often go to the stand and describe what amount of alcohol was found in the blood, what is done to find this level while describing the steps in laymen's terms. They are probably the singe most important witness, because they back up the evidence of blood alcohol levels -- something that a breathalyzer may not do 100 percent of the time.

The honesty of all those in the chain of evidence gathering at the police department is important to the case at hand, but recently a San Diego DUI lawyer found the toxicologist's testimony odd since most of his account seem to come from a paper he was referring to during questioning.

Afterwards, San Diego attorney Cole Casey approached the toxicologist and asked him what he was reading during the testimony. To his surprise the witness showed him the paper he was referencing and found it to be a strict instruction list on how to answer. The instructions explained to the witness on what to say verbatim, not what their experience was or anything that they knew unique to the case.

If fact some of the questions where basically saying to play dumb and state that "it's impossible to remember each blood draw." This was the prosecutions method of putting away DUI cases without a matter of a doubt simply to make their toxicologist follow along a set of guidelines on what to do rather than what they know happened during testing -- a true conflict and a pretty blatant case of dishonesty.

Another 'Expert Witness' Gone Wrong

Another toxicologist was found, not to have been giving testimony with scripted lines, but scripting a false resume instead. During an employee record audit at the San Diego Sheriff Department's Crime lab, it was found that an often used key witness, Raymond Cole, had falsified his resume. It was found that Cole's resume states that instead of graduating from Berkeley in pre-med, he had actually graduated with a bachelor's in political science.

Unfortunately Cole had nearly 30 years working in the crime lab with many cases where he was used at the witness stand. Notices of the allegedly perjured testimony went out to the San Diego DUI lawyers that used him.