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Challenging forensic evidence is crucial in criminal trials

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You may, or may not, know that I specialise in motoring law and that my practice has a particular emphasis on drink driving, drug driving and the associated offences. Because these offences usually require some scientific enquiry to be conducted to prove guilt, they frequently include forensic evidence and today I want to look at how courts deal with forensic evidence and challenges to it.
Let’s assume that somebody has been arrested for drink driving and, for whatever reason, the police have taken blood to assess how much alcohol is in his body. The prosecution will usually provide a document called an SFR1, which is a summary of the scientific examiner’s findings. It is not a document that is admissible itself, although it can be admitted if all parties agree. If a party does not agree to the summary being admitted then the prosecution ask the expert to produce an SFR2 document, which is a formal witness statement containing all of the experts findings and is in an admissible forma…