In more and more DUI cases, the time allowed for jury selection is limited, so your DUI attorney needs to be prepared to ask quick, simple questions in order to pick a jury. One way to do this is to use a series of PowerPoint slides, each containing one question, with six possible answers (1. strongly agree; 2. agree; 3. slightly agree; 4. slightly disagree; 5. disagree; 6. strongly disagree). During the jury selection process, your DUI attorney simply shows the prospective jurors each slide, one by one, and records the number of the answer chosen by each juror for each question. If all the questions are drafted such that the higher numbered answers reveal jurors with attitudes favorable to your defense, then all your DUI attorney has to do to weed out biased jurors is tally the scores. The higher the total score, the more open that juror will be to your DUI case themes and arguments. The lower the total score, the more likely that juror is to be biased against you.
Below are some examples of DUI jury selection slides your attorney might use. Additional slides that ask specific questions related to the issues in your particular case also would be helpful.
Your DUI attorney can uncover the widespread belief that police officers are more credible than other witnesses. By using the phrase “completely truthful,” this question articulates a belief, at the far end of the spectrum and gives prospective jurors the opportunity to push against this extreme – or not. Your DUI attorney should follow up with prospective jurors who score a 1 or 2 on this question. For example:
Q: Juror 14, I see you strongly agree that police officers are completely truthful. Do you think that of anyone doing any job?
Q: Why is that?
Q: So what makes police officers different?
In DUI cases involving more than one charge, it is not uncommon for factions of jurors to negotiate a verdict. That is, some jurors want to acquit on everything and some jurors want to convict on everything, so they agree to convict on one charge and acquit on the other. One thing that might make this compromise psychologically palatable for the “not guilty” group is the nagging suspicion that the person on trial may not be guilty beyond reasonable doubt on each charge, but if the levels of guilt were somehow added together, it might add up to some sort of philosophical guilty verdict on one charge. This jury selection slide is aimed at uncovering potential jurors who tend to believe “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” It may also reveal which jurors are more skeptical or technical in their view of this process – those who understand that each charge is individual and must stand or fall on its own proof.
DUI jury selection will help uncover attitudes for and against the idea that just because a person is unable to pass all the standard field sobriety tests does not mean that person is unable to do accounting, or dig a fence post, or drive a car.
This is aimed at drawing out prospective jurors on the notion of “garbage in, garbage out.” Prospective DUI jurors who do not believe that scientific procedures must be strictly followed likely will not be open to the arguments in your defense. Your DUI attorney should ask follow-up questions of these individuals and, if appropriate, ask the court to excuse them from jury service.