Testimony at Trial in Maryland
Two types of testimony can be made at trial: lay person testimony and expert testimony. In order to be admitted as evidence at trial, certain requirements must be met based on the type of testimony. In Ragland v. State, the issue of testimony type was argued as a reason for appeal of the appellant’s conviction. At trial, the State did not identify police officers as experts, and thus, did not provide their names to the defense prior to their testimony. Unlike lay person testimony, which only requires ordinary observation, expert testimony requires specialized knowledge and skill. The State treated police officer testimony as lay person testimony. Ragland argued, during appeal, that the officers’ testimony should have been treated as expert testimony, subject to notice and discovery prior to trial. The appellate court agreed, vacated Ragland’s conviction and remanded the case for a new trial. If you are facing trial, call Azari Law at 301.362.3300 to speak with an attorney you can trust to handle your case.