The strongest evidence in almost every DUI case is a chemical test. It could be a breath alcohol test on a Datamaster or a blood test analyzed by the Michigan State Police Forensic Science Department. To receive the best possible defense to a DUI charge the defense attorney must possess expert knowledge and understanding of precisely how these chemical tests operate, the policies and procedures for administering them, how to challenge and question their effectiveness and validity, and how to fight them in court. It requires a very good understanding of the sciences applicable to DUI evidence.
A lawyer cannot learn these scientific disciplines by going to court. The prosecutor or judge are not going to teach them to the defense attorney. They barely know it themselves. An expert DUI specialist must endeavor to take the educational courses, related advocacy skills training and then practice what he was learned in court. The expert DUI attorney must continue to maintain his knowledge of this specialized education on a regular basis. Unlike the police, attorneys cannot be taught something once and then allow it to be forgotten. Continued scientific education is necessary to grow the defense lawyer’s knowledge base. There is a lot to know, more than one or two brief classes on any particular field can teach. It requires dedication and a genuine fondness for the subject matter.
Barton Morris spends dozens of hours every year learning about the science of chemical testing and learning how to utilize it effectively in court. To date, Barton Morris is the only Michigan attorney to be designated by the American Chemical Society as a Forensic Lawyer-Scientist which means he received over 160 hours of education and hands on forensic laboratory work intensely learning several different disciplines of science specifically related to fighting DUI cases. This designation also required passing a comprehensive examination on the following subjects:
- Infrared spectroscopy – used primarily in evidential breath alcohol testing
- gas chromatography – most popular chemical analytical tool used in the world and used in blood alcohol and drug testing
- Mass spectrometry – highly selective and specific used for identifying compounds in blood for DUID cases
- Flame ionization detector systems – detector system utilized primarily for blood alcohol testing
- Forensic sample preparation – how the samples get prepared for testing is very important and a source of significant error
- Colormetric sample testing – presumptive controlled substance testing
- Micro and Macroscopic Drug Testing – primarily marijuana and plant identification and analysis
- Thin Layer Chromatography – testing for solid drug doses for identification
- Liquid Chromatography – testing for drugs and alcohol without having to heat the unknown sample
- FTIR – Fourier Transform Infrared Testing – highly selective quantitative analysis technique increasingly used for THC
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagumus field sobriety testing
- Controlled Substance Pharmacology – the study of how different drugs effect the body after ingestion
As such, Barton Morris has specialized and in depth knowledge, hands on experience and expertise in fighting the following issues common in DUI prosecutions.
Blood Testing for Controlled Substances
Preliminary Breath Testing
If an attorney does not understand these scientific disciplines, they can do nothing more than believe the state’s chemical test evidence and plead their client guilty. There is not much usefulness to giving up without a fight. By expertly fighting these cases and effectively challenging the evidence, Barton Morris is able to achieve amazing results on a regular basis. Most importantly, when the prosecutors and judges see how effective he is, they show respect and make better offers that other lawyers cannot get.
Further, Barton Morris is on the faculty of the National College for DUI Defense which teaches DUI lawyers all over the country how to effectively fight DUI cases. He has been selected to teach at the first ever Forensic Blood Alcohol Testing Seminar for NCDD called Serious Science for Serious Lawyers: Advanced Course for Blood Analysis and Trial Advocacy in June of 2015.
This is what makes Barton Morris the Top Forensic Lawyer-Scientist in Michigan.