Expert Testimony in Arizona Domestic Violence Cases
Whether you have been accused of domestic violence or you’re a victim, your legal representative will do everything possible to give you the best possible outcome following the court proceedings in Arizona domestic violence cases.
Expert testimonials may be used to establish the fact that somebody is violent and prone to hurting people in their surroundings. Psychologists, profilers and other expert witnesses can share information pertaining to their area of expertise and the way in which it refers to the domestic violence case.
There are certain situations in which expert testimonies may not be admissible in court. The respective judge will have to examine the circumstances, the specifics of the case and the manner in which an expert testimony could contribute to a resolution.
When and How Are Expert Testimonies Allowed in Arizona Domestic Violence Cases?
The rules of criminal evidence, relevance and objectivity of an expert testimony will all be inspected by the court before the admissibility of such information is determined.
This is very important and even a bit questionable. If the court makes the wrong decision and improper expert witness testimony is allowed, the outcome could be swayed in one direction or the other.
In the summer of 2017, a domestic violence case in Arizona gained a lot of popularity precisely because of the issues surrounding expert testimony. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled out that juries have the right to hear from experts and profilers who highlight general tendencies and behaviors.
Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling comes in the aftermath of a trial, during which a profiler explained that certain characteristics make individuals more likely to commit a crime. According to Supreme Court justice Robert Bruinel, such testimonies make it easier for jurors to understand both the behavior of the victim (for example, not reporting to the authorities) and the perpetrator.
Offender Profiling: When and How Does it Become Admissible?
The case presented above shows that judges have the authority to admit or reject expert witness participation on an individual basis. The only rule for admitting such evidence is for it not to be unfairly misleading or prejudiced.
In the case mentioned above, the victim refused to testify against the attacker during the trial. An expert witness specializing in psychology explained that such behavior was quite common among domestic violence victims. The aim of the testimony was to educate and provide another perspective, as far as victim behavior goes.
There are always risks when it comes to profiling and the admissibility of cold expert testimonies. A cold expert is a person who provides information on a topic without looking at the specific details of the case. Though such testimonies have an educational purpose, they could easily imply that a defendant is guilty for a crime.
A good explanation for the introduction of the expert testimony will be needed on behalf of either the defense or the prosecution. General testimonies provided by cold experts are also not to be used to determine the outcome of the trial.
Uncooperative Victims Are Common in Domestic Violence Proceedings
Expert testimonies are very often admissible in domestic violence cases due to the fact that victims will be uncooperative. Fear and beliefs that they deserved an attack will frequently stand in the way of getting justice.
This is one of the reasons why prosecutors will look for extensive medical records, witnesses and expert opinions in order to build a case against the defendant.
The qualifications of experts will be incredibly important when it comes to the admissibility of the testimony. Otherwise, a criminal defense attorney can quickly challenge both the truthfulness and the relevance of the information.