641.2Shoeprints, Footprints, & Tire Tracks

Suggested Questions
Last Updated: 12/01/23

Suggested Questions for Expert Witness Analyzing Footprints, Shoeprints, or Tire Tracks: 

1.  What is your name? 

2.  Where are you employed? 

3.  What is your position there and what are your official duties? 

4.  How long have you been doing this type of work? 

5.  Please describe your training in [footprint, shoeprint, and/or tire track] examinations and comparisons. 

6.  Approximately how many [footprint, shoeprint, and/or tire track] comparisons have you conducted as a (name position)? 

7.  [Check with expert before trial.] Have you ever been qualified in court as an expert in the field of footwear and tire track examination before?  If so, how many times, and in what courts?
Tender witness to the court as an expert in the field of comparing and identifying foot, footwear and/or tire track impressions. 

8.  What is a questioned [footprint, shoeprint, or tire track]? 

9.  What is a known [footprint, shoeprint, or tire] standard and how are they obtained? 

10.  How do you make a comparison of a questioned [footprint, shoeprint, or tire track] with a known [foot, shoe, or tire]? 

11.  What factors make it possible to identify a known [foot, shoe, or tire] standard against a questioned [foot, shoe, or tire] impression? 

12.  In your opinion, if these factors are present, to what degree of certainty can you identify a particular [foot, shoe or tire] as having made a [foot, shoe or tire] impression? 

If the shoeprint or tire track expert investigated the crime scene and personally took or supervised the taking of photographs or a cast of the impression, or dusted for ridges on a latent impression of a foot or shoeprint, or removed an object on which the impression was found, ask questions numbered 13 through 21. If a local law enforcement officer collected that evidence and then submitted it to the analyst, you should establish a chain of custody of the evidence and ask the following questions of the law enforcement officer. 

13.  Is this type of identification generally accepted as reliable in the field? 

14.  Did you examine the crime scene in this case on [date]? 

15.  What was the purpose of your examination? 

16.  What did you find as a result of your examination? [A footprint, shoeprint, tire track] 

17.  Where was the [footprint/shoeprint/tire track] found? 

It may be useful to have officer refer to diagram or photographs of the crime scene to show the location and position of the footprint/shoeprint/tire track. 

18.  What did you do when you discovered the [footprint/shoeprint/tire track]? 

19.  Describe how you made a cast or photograph of the [footprint/shoeprint/tire track]. 

20.  I hand you what has been marked for identification as State’s Exhibit number ____ [either the cast or a photograph of it] and ask you if you can identify it? 

21.  How are you able to identify it? [Officer should have dated, initialed, or marked evidence in some manner the officer can identify.] 

Introduce the exhibit into evidence: Your honor, the state offers the [cast/photograph] into evidence as State’s Exhibit number. ___.  

22.  After you found the [footprint/shoeprint/tire track] (and made the cast of the impression), did you compare the [footprint/shoeprint/tire track] with any [footshoe, or tire]? 

23.  I hand you State’s Exhibit number ____ [shoe, tire, or print from defendant’s foot] and ask if you are able to identify it? 

24.  How are you able to identify it? 

25.  Did you examine this [shoe, tire, or print]? 

26.  How did the [shoe, tire, or print] come into your possession? 

27.  How did you examine it? 

28.  Did you compare the [footprint/shoeprint/tire track] impression (of which a cast was made), marked as State’s Exhibit number. ____, with the [shoe, tire, or print], marked as State’s Exhibit number ____? 

29.  [It is useful to have the witness, in front of the jury, use the actual exhibits and describe factors of identification common to the cast impression and actual foot, shoe, or tire] 

Officer, would the use of these exhibits in front of the jury help you to explain and illustrate your testimony about how you made a comparison? 

Your Honor, the State asks permission for the witness to come down from the witness stand and testify in front of the jury and use and refer to State Exhibits numbers ____ and ____ for the purpose of illustrating his/her testimony. 

30.  Please describe how you compared the exhibits. 

31.  Were there any particular nicks, cuts, marks or other identifying features that you observed when you were making the comparison? Please explain, and point those out to the jury.

32.  In summary, what did your examination and comparison of the [footprint/shoeprint/tire track] with the [shoe/print/tire] show? 

33.  As a result of your examination and comparison, do you have an opinion as to whether the [footprint/shoeprint/tire track] found at the scene was made by the [shoe taken from defendant’s possession/tire taken from a vehicle driven or owned by the defendant/print taken from defendant’s foot]? 

34.  What is your opinion?