Generally, it is not required that you hire an expert witness for your defense. The government bears the exclusive burden of proof in any drug case. Accordingly, the government must present witnesses, whereas the defendant is permitted, but not required, to do so.
That being said, having an expert witness on behalf of your defense would rarely hurt your case. Prior to an expert testifying at trial, you and your attorney would consult with the expert to try to determine exactly what he or she would be testifying to. If the information is not favorable for your defense, then obviously you would not have the expert testify.
The Cost of an Expert Witness
The cost of an expert witness varies widely based on specialty, experience, and credentials. We really can’t tell you what an expert witness would charge because of these variables. It should be noted, however, that if the costs of an expert witness are out of reach, you can, with the help of your attorney, apply to the court for funds to pay that witness. The granting of funds is discretionary as is the amount of funds.
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