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Ten rules to follow when you testify at your DUI trial
Your DUI attorney will understand that you are not professional witness. You will probably be nervous and may make some mistakes when testifying. Here are some NICKEL and DIME rules that should help you testify effectively at your DUI trial.
Nervousness is acceptable. The jury will understand if you act nervous, so admit it to them. Intense listening is critical. Be sure to listen to the exact question asked of you by the lawyers from either side. Count to three before you give an answer. It gives you time to think about what was asked, as mentioned above, and it gives your DUI attorney a chance to object. KISS, the old adage of “keep it simple, stupid” applies here. Provide short specific answers to the exact question. Do not elaborate. Exact answers to each question. If the question is wrongly asked, don’t try to give the answer you know they want. The prosecutor is the pro; let him or her act like one in framing questions. Look up at the jury when giving the answer. People who look down in their laps look like they are hiding something.
Demonstrate when appropriate. Jurors love to watch things so if you can, SHOW them. I Don’t Know is a perfectly acceptable answer when true. We can’t remember what we had for dinner last night, never mind three months ago. Tell the jury if you cannot remember or do not know. Make eye contact with individual jurors. Find a friendly face in the crowd. They will help you later in deliberations. Emote. If you were angry or upset when you were arrested, it is okay to let the jury see it in court.