There are a number of reasons to hire a forensic expert or a consultant and if you think you need to then you probably do.
The first step in getting Pocket Expert involved in your case is initial contact. Please call or email to arrange a time that we can discuss your case, we prefer to do this over the phone, if at all possible.
If after speaking, we both decide that Pocket Expert consulting can assist you than we can discuss the rates. If we are unable to help we certainly can point you to other experts that may be able to better assist you.
Rates: Our rates will vary depending on the case and the ability of the clients. We are of the belief that a good, experienced forensic scientist should be available to everyone in need. This often can not happen if our rates are too high for people to afford.
Because there is such a large variety of ways we can assist you we don’t pre-package our services. You may just need a report broken down or you may need our assistance from the photographing of a crime scene to pre-trial and then through the entire trial including but not limited to assistance at counsel table. If you are working for a State or Federal agency then there is no retainer. We understand the funding limitations of many State and Federal prosecutors and public defense agencies. We will do everything we can to accommodate your needs.
We pride ourselves on being an affordable, experienced, hard working and dedicated consulting company.
The importance of DNA in the investigation of crimes is easy to understand and rely on, however, the correct application and understanding of results might not be as straight-forward as many analysts might have you believe. The fact that an individual’s unique DNA profile is present in, on or around a crime scene proves only one thing; the presence of that person’s DNA in, on or around the crime scene. The interpretation of that presence is still wide open. Many questions still MUST be asked, answered and prioritized before any conclusions can be drawn.
Any profile obtained during the testing of evidence in a criminal case must be carefully scrutinized; from, not only the collection of the evidence but also the history of the scene itself all the way through the handling, testing and reporting. Mistakes can be made at any step, even with safeguards in place. Reports can be misleading. It is crucial to have a qualified expert review everything that went into the creation of the report to be sure results are reliable.
The detection, classification and study of various bodily fluids such as blood, semen, saliva, fecal matter, and perspiration, and their relationship to a crime scene.
Since the appearance of DNA in the forensic arena serology has slowly been disappearing from lab reports. Many crime labs don’t feel it necessary to run tests on stains to determine what fluid might be present when they can go directly to DNA and find, ideally, who the fluid came from. In some circumstances this is perfectly acceptable, but in others it can be disastrous to make the assumptions required to complete the picture. Much of serology is based on “non-specific presumptive” tests. As vague as that might sound it does provide a good starting point, but only a starting point. This type of test is never a sure thing, that’s why it’s classified as “non-specific presumptive. Identifying the source of DNA is crucial, sperm vs. skin cells for instance can make or break a case.
The presence of blood spatter at a crime scene is an important tool to be sure, but, all due respect to Dexter, it can only go so far and has to be considered in conjunction with all other evidence present. A properly trained blood spatter expert can provide valuable information about what might have taken place at a crime scene. There is no standard for what would be considered “qualified” and in many cases this creates a big problem.
The analysis of hair in relation to a crime is, for the most part, no longer a forensic discipline that is utilized. However, even now, after the 2016 PCAST report points out the inherent problems with the science you might still find some agencies using it. In the 80’s and before, in the hands of a competent analyst hair comparison could provide some useful information. But on the whole, the area is rife with problems and any use of it should fall under heavy scrutiny.
Having said that I’m sure anyone involved in post conviction cases will sooner or later see this type of testing and testimony. In that case a competent hair analyst will be a necessary part of the team to properly review the work and testimony.
Crime Scene Reconstruction
If there is one area where the potential for mistakes is greatest it’s here. Crime scene investigation encompasses so much in almost every case there is room for improvement.
How was the scene processed? How many photos were taken? How was the evidence collected? How was the evidence handled/photographed before collection? How was the evidence transported for storage? How was the evidence stored? Who all handled the evidence? What does the chain of custody look like? Is the chain of custody complete and can it be relied on?
All of these questions open up possibilities for problems, and all of them should be answered in any case that involves physical evidence.