Attorney Tiffany DeBruin was proud to present at the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM) Conference regarding the use of “soft science” experts during criminal trials. Tiffany DeBruin is an Ohio native who worked and attended law school in the state before moving to Michigan and establishing her own practice. For almost a decade, she has represented criminal defendants throughout Ingham County and Clinton County. During this time, she has consistently utilized trusted scientific processes and evidence to defend her clients from false allegations, as well as fought back against pseudo-science claims in the courtroom. Because of this experience, Tiffany is well-regarded in addressing soft science during criminal cases and in utilizing or cross-examining soft science experts.
Given her experience and knowledge on the subject, Tiffany conducted a 75-minute presentation at the CDAM Conference in order to help other criminal defense attorneys better address the soft sciences during their cases. The “Soft Science Experts” presentation was given during the Advanced Criminal Defense Practice Spring Conference, hosted in Pontiac, Michigan between February 28 – March 2, 2019.
What Is “Soft Science”?
Soft science is an informal term used to differentiate certain scientific fields from others commonly referred to as hard sciences. Hard sciences typically refer to the natural sciences, including chemistry, biology, physics, geology, meteorology, and astronomy. Within hard sciences, it is usually possible to create and perform experiences with distinct and controlled variables. Most hard sciences heavily rely on mathematics and are quantifiable.
Soft sciences, on the other hand, relate to human behavior instead of nature. They are typically intangible in nature, and it can be much more difficult to perform controlled experiments and describe these sciences in quantifiable terms. Soft sciences include psychiatry, psychology, sociology, and anthropology.
Using Soft Science Experts During a Criminal Case
Soft sciences can be used as part of a criminal defense. However, for any scientific principle a defense attorney wishes to submit to the court, it often, but not always, needs to be offered and supported by an expert in that subject. For example, if a defendant suffers from a mental health disorder, and this condition contributed to their behavior as it relates to the criminal charges, a criminal defense lawyer may utilize a psychology expert or psychologist to support evidence of the defendant’s disorder and how it impacts the defendant’s conduct.
However, soft science experts can be extremely useful for more than establishing a defendant’s mental health during a criminal case. Soft science experts can be useful in:
- Supporting mistaken identity defenses by providing evidence regarding the unreliability of eye witness identification.
- Providing supporting evidence regarding the unreliability of an alleged confession due to interrogation techniques and environments.
- Supporting a “battered women syndrome” defense when the defendant was abused by the alleged victim.
- Providing important insights during sexual assault cases.
Tiffany DeBruin Offers Experienced, Skilled, and Personalized Criminal Defense Representation
For individuals charged with crimes in Lansing, Michigan or the surrounding area, Tiffany DeBruin can provide an aggressive criminal defense. After performing a thorough analysis of the case, she will build the strongest possible defense strategy, which may include utilizing soft science experts.