Importance of Expert Witness Testimony in an Arson Case

In any Arson case an arson investigation expert is considered as an expert witness. This investigator can acquire knowledge about how the fire must have started, whether it was an accident or done knowingly, and many other important questions which would be extremely important for any crime involving arson. These investigators are generally specialists in the field, and must have knowledge not only about fire, but the results, the architecture and origin of such fire. They generally are firefighters, investigators, officers who have exceptional experience in solving cases related to fire and arson. They should have sufficient knowledge about aftermath of the fire and the origin and the results of torching of a place or an object.

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As an expert such person has ability to give direction to the case and affect the results of the trial as well. The expert can be convincing only if he can join the dots and can relate the proof with the origin and cause of the fire. Many times a fire which results due to mishap, and accidents are considered to be Arson and vice versa, which in the end wastes time of the court. Thus knowing the origin of the fire is most important and any further inferences should be based on this. An expert should be able to discover more proofs from crime scene and should use the existing evidence and facts to make conclusions which would be more authoritative.

The presentation if is convincing, the theory can be accepted by court which could give a new unseen direction to the case. It is well known that generally the expert will provide information and testimony in a technical language which might not be understood by a layman, but the expert does not worry about it as, it is his duty to present everything in the precisest way possible. This showcases his skills, education, knowledge and his experience. Generally, a qualification process is mandatory for the expert to showcase his ability, which tests his previous experience, education and job profile.

But this witness in not an unquestionable authority, contrarily his claim is tested both the parties of the case. More the number of times the expert has given advice in different cases, more authoritative he becomes. Hence experience covers the educational aspect. Such fire investigators sometimes if corrupted could give a wrong picture of the crime, thus generally their claims and theories are not readily accepted and are subject to questions. Also their inferences from proofs are generally reaffirmed. But if he explains the case with dexterity, it increases the credibility of not only the investigator but of the case as a whole.
Generally experts are invited if the case is complicated and too difficult to understand the complexities. To be a new Arson case specialist with no prior experience in investigating crimes of arson is truly difficult, and a great deal of handwork is required. Trust on the expert is most important as lives of innocent or punishment to a murderer is based on it. As others are directly affected and related to this job, it should be performed with utmost precision and responsibility to save the innocent and punish the crooks.

 

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