23 - What is the difference between eyewitness testimony and expert testimony?
Expert testimony is evidence presented through someone who has the specialized training and experience needed to talk about something that others might not ordinarily know about. Sex crimes are highly technical in nature and often involve legal nuances not seen in more straightforward criminal cases. For example, a sexual offense against a child may include DNA experts, behavioral health experts, victimology experts, recantation experts, piecemeal disclosure experts, psychosexual experts and much more.
Eyewitness testimony, on the other hand, is evidence presented through anyone who saw, heard or had knowledge of facts and information directly related to the case. Eyewitnesses are not ordinarily experts, but may be if they directly saw something associated with the case. For example, many police officers are both experts and eyewitnesses because they have expertise in law enforcement, but are also often the first responders to the scene of a crime and therefore may see a crime unfold before them.