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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 116817
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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A criminologist testified in a case about the level of THC

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A criminologist testified in a case about the level of THC in a persons blood would cause intoxication. The defense did not have an expert to refute testimony. After conviction a relative of the defendant has found that the Criminolgist's statement is not consistent with any availabe scientific studies. Can this person be charged with lying under oath? How can one find out who certifies this person to perform test and testify? He has to be approved by someone. The defendant at least wants to go to the accrediting authority and let them know what this person said under oath?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Whether or not to charge any witness with perjury (lying under oath) is solely at the discretion of the court and the DA. Thus, if you can prove in court that the witness intentionally lied in their testimony, knowing it was a lie when they testified, then it is up to the court to either charge them with perjury or refer the case to the DA to decide on whether or not to charge him with perjury. Keep in mind, that as Oklahoma is a "zero tolerance" state for any drugs including controlled and illegal substances, all the state has to prove is the presence of THC in the system, they are not required by law to prove the actual effects of that amount of THC in order to get a conviction because the Oklahoma law sets no such limits.

Actually, believe it or not many lab personnel and criminologists are not certified by any state agency at all, they merely have to have a degree and/or training in conducting the testing.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So I would have to bring my charges to the same DA that called in the drug expert to testify for them. Is that correct? Could a person bring his complaint to the attorney general instead of the DA or at least after he was turned down by the DA?

I have been made aware that Oklahoma is not a zero tolerance state. I checked to OSCN web site to see the requirements to be convicted of DUI. In Oklahoma to be convicted of Driving under the influence of an intoxicant other than alchohol (and marijuna is listed among the different drugs), one of the elements is that a person must be proven to be under the influence of the intoxicant, not just have some in his system.

Thank you for your response.

I apologize for the misstatement, as the zero tolerance is for a minor under the influence, not an adult. You are correct in that they have to prove under the influence and some level of impairment. Thus, the expert testimony would have contradicted the state's alleged expert.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You said "..Thus, the expert testimony would have contradicted the state's alleged expert." I am confused by this statement. The defendant did not have a drug expert to refute prosecution expert at trial but after conviction and being incarcerated a relative found out from a drug expert that the prosecution's expert testimony was not in line with any scientific data on this subject. This is why the defendant and family are wanting to know if the lying expert can be charge with lying under oath. You explained it was up to the DA or the Court to charge him. So my question on the last post was would the defendant have to go through the same DA that hired this expert in the first place? We know what that outcome is going to be. They are not going to charge him. So there must be some other way. Is it possible to take this to the state attorney general? I have heard you can even file a complaint against the DA with the state attorney general.

Thank you for the response.

Your argument on appeal is not just their criminologist improperly testified, but that the public defender program would not pay for him to get his own criminologist or toxicology expert to testify that there was no influence at the low levels of THC he had in his system.

In order to counter the State's expert, you had to put on an expert to contradict him and explain the scientific studies and evidence on the subject. Once you do that, then you have to prove that the state's expert knew that this was the case and testified to the contrary intentionally in order to have a case of perjury against the expert.

You have to present actual evidence he knowingly lied under oath and then it is up to the court to find perjury or refer it to the DA. The defendant, if the DA refuses to entertain the perjury case, can go to the Attorney General for review of the case, but you have to present them the court testimony and proof that the testimony was contradicted AND that the state's expert actually knew that his testimony was false when he gave it.
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