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Call the Experts

Wednesday, Sep-19, 2018

Call the Experts

peter-minnikin

Expert witnesses can make all the difference if you are charged with a criminal offence, as two recent fraud cases handled by McCormicks have highlighted.

In criminal law, expert witnesses can be instructed by both the prosecution and defence to help their case.

These witnesses do not take sides. Instead, they must use their expert knowledge and experience to interpret the evidence impartially. That is one of the reasons their testimony can carry such weight.

Examples of expert witnesses include forensic accountants (who can be essential in complex fraud matters), psychiatrists and psychologists, firearms experts and road traffic collision experts.

In one of the recent fraud cases mentioned earlier, a handwriting expert instructed by McCormicks was able to show that a signature on a document said to have been that of our client was almost certainly not genuine.

As a result of this finding, the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence in court and our client was found not guilty.

The second case was discontinued after McCormicks submitted a psychologist’s report to the court.

In both cases our clients were spared the ordeal having to stand trial because the Crown Prosecution Service appreciated the strength of our experts’ evidence.

Peter Minnikin, Partner in McCormicks Criminal Law department, said: “This shows the value of instructing solicitors such as McCormicks who have the experience to know when an expert witness could be useful and who know which expert to call upon.

“At McCormicks we have a database of experts across a wide range of fields who have proven their worth time and again. This is just one example of the resources we have at our fingertips to help our clients.

“Each of our solicitors also has extensive experience of instructing experts on behalf of their clients and their own network of experts to call upon when required.

“It is not every day that cases are effectively dropped because of the findings of expert witnesses, but it is not unusual for expert evidence to play an important role in cases.”

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