This is the next post in my series on the handling of cyber crimes in Peoria, Illinois. My last article discussed how search and seizure issues can impact computer related crimes. If a defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated then, depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to gain a dismissal of the charges. If you believe that the rights of yourself, or a loved one, were violated then it is important to discuss the matter with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. In this article I will discuss the potential need for witnesses in such cases. If you require assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
The rules of evidence do not allow a “lay person” to testify in regards to matters which require specialized knowledge, training, skill, or experience. When it comes to such matters, it will be necessary to utilize an expert witness. Experts can be required in cases involving cyber crimes as such matters often involve complicated technical issues. Say, for example, that a defendant is alleged to have illegally accessed a company’s computer network. It is the prosecution’s burden to show that the company’s network was actually accessed, that the access was illegal, and that the defendant was the one who committed the offense. The prosecutors, therefore, will need to utilize an expert witness who can present access records to the jury in a way which proves the crime. The defendant will have the opportunity to retain their own expert, who can refute the claims of the prosecution’s professional. The jury will decide which expert, if either, is to be believed and the amount of weight, if any, to be given to the believable expert’s testimony.
It is crucial that the defendant’s expert be able to relay information to the jury in a way which is easily understandable. Such information is going to involve highly complicated topics and if the expert’s points are lost on the jurors, then the accused will lose the benefit of having such a professional testify on their behalf. This means that defense counsel must 1) retain an expert whom he or she knows can do a good job of relating information and 2) counsel must be able to structure their questioning in a way that is easy for the jury to follow. When selecting counsel for a computer related criminal case, it is important to consider whether they will be able to deal with expert witnesses.
I am a former prosecutor who is licensed in both state and federal court. I am experienced in dealing with expert witnesses and am familiar with our local court systems. My firm is based on the idea that everyone is entitled to aggressive representation and we are ready to assist you. Contact us today to speak with a Peoria lawyer. I also service the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. I also handle federal cases in Urbana.