In criminal cases, there is a natural tendency for jurors to overvalue scientific evidence. In many ways, that is understandable. After all, much of the evidence jurors hear is based on the memory of witnesses, which experience tells us is imperfect and prone to error. At first glance, scientific evidence like blood or breath test evidence in DWI cases seems so much more precise. But in too many cases, confidence in the reliability of scientific evidence is misplaced and could lead to wrongful convictions.
One way to lessen this danger is by forcing labs to publish data regarding their accuracy rate. That way, results of scientific tests are not presented to jurors in a vacuum they can weigh the results with an understanding of how often the State gets it wrong. Recently, a judge in Michigan came to a similar conclusion and refused to admit blood evidence after the lab could not produce statistics regarding its error rate (read the story here). “Without an error rate, the lab leaves an inference that the test result is an absolute or true result,” the judge, Peter Wadel, said in an opinion. No doubt, science has a place in the courtroom, but caution has to be taken to minimize the danger that jurors will treat scientific evidence as infallible. Judge Wadel has the right approach.
Cases involving scientific evidence like breath and blood tests present unique challenges to defense attorneys, and that is why it is important to retain a lawyer experienced in challenging the science behind DWI or DUI cases. If you or a loved one is arrested for any offenses, including DUI or DWI, in Houston, TX, or the surrounding areas, the attorneys at Scheiner Law Group are an excellent choice.