15A-1225.3. Forensic analyst remote testimony.

(a) Definitions. - The following definitions apply to this section:

(1) Criminal proceeding. - Any hearing or trial in a prosecution of a person charged with violating a criminal law of this State and any hearing or proceeding conducted under Subchapter II of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes where a juvenile is alleged to have committed an offense that would be a criminal offense if committed by an adult.

(2) Remote testimony. - A method by which a forensic analyst testifies from a location other than the location where the hearing or trial is being conducted and outside the physical presence of a party or parties.

(b) Remote Testimony Authorized. - In any criminal proceeding, the testimony of an analyst regarding the results of forensic testing admissible pursuant to G.S. 8-58.20, and reported by that analyst, shall be permitted by remote testimony if all of the following occur:

(1) The State has provided a copy of the report to the attorney of record for the defendant, or to the defendant if that person has no attorney, as required by G.S. 8-58.20(d). For purposes of this subdivision, "report" means the full laboratory report package provided to the district attorney.

(2) The State notifies the attorney of record for the defendant, or the defendant if that person has no attorney, at least 15 business days before the proceeding at which the evidence would be used of its intention to introduce the testimony regarding the results of forensic testing into evidence using remote testimony.

(3) The defendant's attorney of record, or the defendant if that person has no attorney, fails to file a written objection with the court, with a copy to the State, at least five business days before the proceeding at which the testimony will be presented that the defendant objects to the introduction of the remote testimony.

If the defendant's attorney of record, or the defendant if that person has no attorney, fails to file a written objection as provided in this subsection, then the objection shall be deemed waived and the analyst shall be allowed to testify by remote testimony.

(c) Testimony. - The method used for remote testimony authorized by this section shall allow the trier of fact and all parties to observe the demeanor of the analyst as the analyst testifies in a similar manner as if the analyst were testifying in the location where the hearing or trial is being conducted. The court shall ensure that the defendant's attorney, or the defendant if that person has no attorney, has a full and fair opportunity for examination and cross-examination of the analyst.

(d) Nothing in this section shall preclude the right of any party to call any witness. (2014-119, s. 8(a); 2015-173, s. 2.)