Junk Science

HGN Expert Testimony in North Carolina DWI Trials

Expert testimony, as I described in my previous post on this issue, is admissible under a hybrid rule in North Carolina articulated in Goode, Howerton, and related cases such as Ward. That three-part test is used for most expert testimony and, until 2006, for the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test (HGN) used in many DWI prosecutions.…

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Fingerprint Analysis is Unreliable

Most people get their understanding of forensic science from crime shows, such as CSI, or movies. The impression that’s given is that forensic science is incredibly accurate and reliable. For instance, most people believe that fingerprinting analysis is a reliable way to determine whether someone touched an item. Or they believe that shoe print analysis…

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One Side of a Story

One of the unending frustrations of a criminal lawyer is watching his clients’ reputations being smeared in the media, among the clients’ friends or family, and with the clients’ employer. Unfortunately in our society, when someone is arrested, charged, or indicted, people assume there must be some reason for the charge. This is a natural…

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SFSTs are part of North Carolina Basic Law Enforcement Training

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) evaluated a variety of field sobriety tests to determine which ones were scientifically accurate. NHTSA identified the Southern California Research Institute as the center to conduct a thorough testing of the various field sobriety tests to determine which ones had the…

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Raleigh DWI Lawyer: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test

The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test – also known as the eye test or finger test – is considered the most reliable of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests conducted on the roadside to determine whether a driver is impaired. If you’ve been stopped for a DWI in North Carolina, call (919) 352-9411. The HGN is not a…

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Don’t Perform Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

Too often people who encounter the police don’t understand that they have a right to remain silent. Police do not need to inform a person of these rights, unless police place the person into custody and wish to interrogate that person once in custody. Call a Raleigh Criminal Lawyer at (919) 352-9411 if you need someone…

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SBI Abuses Impact Criminal Trials

Recent revelations that the analysts at the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations misreported results, lied about lab tests, failed to report results that were inconsistent with what prosecutors wanted to hear has created shock waves in North Carolina. The News and Observer reports that distrust is building in courtrooms throughout the state: “All this…

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Shoddy work at the SBI

The Raleigh News & Observer is running a series this week on the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI). This is the agency in NC chiefly responsible for providing scientific support to local law enforcement agencies. The SBI conducts blood analysis, blood spatter analysis, fingerprint analysis and other kinds of scientific tests. The problem…

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