What is an expert witness report and how to get one

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What is an expert witness report and how to get one

The legal world is something of a minefield for those who are not trained in the art of understanding it. With complicated laws, technical exceptions, and a shedload of paperwork involved in each case, it really pays to have an expert opinion that can add weight to your cause. 

For all of these reasons and more, we set up an Expert Witness Service for our valued customers. Here’s what you need to know.

So, what is an Expert Witness Service?

Here at DNA Legal, we’ve built an Expert Witness Service that offers multi-layer support to aid with cases that require some form of DNA testing or toxicology reporting. 

Our service offers:

  • A qualified and experienced legal professional to provide a thorough defence casework review, which typically starts by taking a detailed look at the scientific results of your DNA test or toxicology report. They will be able to assess the integrity and validity of your evidence and provide their own assessments on the strength of the case in relation to these results
  • Advanced reporting for DNA and Toxicology, breaking down the scientific information into easier-to-understand components
  • Support with all of the various offences and evidence types that this service is typically connected to, such as drug and alcohol results, drink driving, driving under the influence, drug purity, unknown substances confiscation and testing, paternity DNA, in addition to the criminal DNA cases such as DNA transfer.

Once all of the aforementioned work is assessed by our in-house team, we put the reports, data, and legal judgement in front of an independent expert consultant for a second opinion. All DNA legal expert statements are prepared by experienced Expert Witnesses that have produced thousands of expert statements in recent years. Our experts are trained to produce expert statements that can be presented in all the UK and international courts, tribunals proceedings. Our expert reports have been used in cases preceding in the High Court, County Court. Crown Court, Magistrate Court and other International Courts etc. 

Who is an Expert Witness?

An Expert Witness can be an expert in any particular field or discipline who is willing or hired to give an independent and impartial opinion based on their expertise on matters that are under dispute. Expert Witnesses are often hired for arbitrations, tribunals, and litigation, but there’s an increasing demand for our expertise in regards to cases that require DNA and toxicology testing.

What isn’t an Expert Witness service?

  1. An Expert Witness Service is not a defence lawyer. They will not be building your case and defending you in a court of law. They are not your advocate and are not there to argue your case, nor will they provide advice or opinion beyond their particular realm of expertise, which in our case is relative to toxicology and DNA testing
  2. Our Expert Witness Report is not a vague document that makes assumptions and gives false hope, rather, it is a detailed and thorough compilation of information that can be applied to a number of cases connected to DNA testing and toxicology
  3. An Expert Witness is not a ‘Witness of Fact’, which is the other type of professional witness, who provides evidence of fact but without opinions. An Expert Witness provides an independent expert opinion based on the facts and evidence provided
  4. An Expert Witness Service cannot offer a service on conditional terms or through negotiations, as this will stop them from being seen as independent

What does an Expert Witness Report contain?

The first step of putting the report together is to do the necessary toxicology or DNA testing in order to have the data to work with. When using DNA Legal, your dedicated forensic toxicologist will bring careful consideration to your case. Our Head of Forensic Toxicology is Dr Salah Breidi, one of the UK’s leading experts in hair strand testing and forensic analyses. With the completed tests and our expert doctor at hand, we are able to provide the UK’s most comprehensive and accurate Expert Witness service. 

Within our Expert Witness Report, we make a complete consideration of all factors that can affect test results such as any prescribed medication used, as well as the previous use of drugs, cut-off levels and DNA mixed profiles. All of our expertise is compiled into an executive summary with the support of leading care proceedings solicitors, barristers, and the judiciary.

What toxicology tests do we perform at DNA Legal for the Expert Witness Report?

Here are DNA Legal, we offer toxicology reporting such as:

  • Hair testing for drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication abuse
  • Medication testing for steroids and other doping chemicals
  • Advanced testing of hair, urine, blood, oral fluid, nails, stomach contents, organs, and putrefactive liquid
  • Blood alcohol concentration and drug testing for driving incidents
  • Unknown substances identification and purity testing

In some cases, it’s not people who are being tested for toxins, but rather the drugs themselves, in order to identify them and their purity, or objects that have been in contact with the drugs. This service allows us to test unknown powders, liquids, and pills, as well as testing mobile phones, clothes, money, and wraps, to see what drugs they’ve been in contact with.

Which forensic DNA tests do we offer as part of the report?

Our comprehensive DNA testing services include:

  • 21-46 STR markers
  • Y-STR
  • mtDNA
  • X-STR
  • SNP
  • Next-gen sequencing

We also offer a DNA evidence review service that includes LCN reports, as well as Disaster victim DNA identification services.

How do you get an Expert Witness Report?

To start this process, contact our team today to discuss your legal needs and we will be happy to provide our full advice and support to all parties throughout, from the evidence review to testing and ultimately the Expert Witness Service. You will be provided with a dedicated case manager and a forensic scientist to help your case and drive a fast turnaround of all services, including the Expert Witness Report. Once all reports and summaries are finalised, we are here to brief the legal team before and during the trial.

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