Top 9 Tips for DUI Lawyers
Defending a DUI case can be tricky – especially if there are several negative factors stacked up against your client. But the good news is, it’s not impossible. There are many things DUI accident attorneys can do to successfully defend clients and help protect their rights if accused of a DUI.
This article courtesy of the accident lawyer experts at Accidents.com.
The following tips will help you make big strides toward a positive outcome – and most of all, helping your client move on with their life:
• Be polite at all times – Appeal to the jury by being professional, courteous, and polite at all times:
o Dress appropriately and have your client do the same – Professional business clothing like a business suit, skirt, or nice slacks. You should also advise your client to keep jewelry to a minimum.
o Don’t grimace during negative testimony – Even if what’s being stated about your client is negative, keep in mind – you’ll always have the opportunity to address it later and explain any of these negative statements.
o It’s okay to smile – If something humorous comes up during the trial, don’t be afraid to chuckle (as long as the judge is doing the same). You don’t need to stay 100% straight-faced the whole time.
• Make sure your opening statement is strong – The opening statement is the first thing the jury and judge will hear, so it’s the ideal time to tell your client’s side of the story. Make sure your statement immediately strikes against the jury’s presumption of guilt. For example: If the report shows your client performed well in the field sobriety test, make sure you let the jury know that.
• Keep your defense simple – Members of the jury are likely citizens of your community, so they’re not well versed on DUI laws. Keep your defense simple and let them know exactly what happened and why. This will be much more effective than an elaborate story.
• Emphasize cooperation – If your client was cordial and cooperative with the police officer, be sure to let the jury know that. If you have proof through a video or audio recording, even better. Cooperative people are viewed in a much more positive light.
• Explain Breathalyzer and blood alcohol tests – Many members of the general public don’t know the facts behind Breathalyzer and blood alcohol tests; they just know what they’ve learned from a friend, family member, or coworker who’ve been involved in a DUI case. Let them know the facts behind it, how the testing process works, and how results are measured. The more they can understand about the process, the better.
• Let them know exactly what you want – Perhaps most important of all is letting the jury know exactly what you want. You’ve spent long hours on the case, and it would be a shame if you didn’t tell the jury what you wanted. For example: If you want your client acquitted of all charges, make that known.
This is just a start to the many things you should know when involved with a DUI case – but each of them can be a big help in protecting your client’s rights.