How do you really prepare for a DUI trial? While your attorney is doing everything possible to ensure that the trial proceeds as smoothly as possible, there will be things that you can control that your attorney cannot without your help - how you are perceived.
From the moment you step out your front door the morning of your trial, you should feel you are being watched. Jurors are everywhere and you will have no way of knowing who it will be that holds your fate in your hands. If you're running late and cut someone off in traffic – that person you gave the finger to is a potential juror and now when they later hear the prosecutor call you a "less safe driver" they may smile at you from the jury box.
Your lawyer will control how the facts and evidence are perceived at trial, but only you can really control how the jury perceives you. If you have a suit, wear a suit, but if you've never worn a suit a day in your life don't let your trial be the first day you do. You should dress in your best attire, but only wear what you feel comfortable wearing. Women should not wear too much make-up and should dress conservatively – nothing too revealing.
When you arrive at the courthouse the chances of running into potential jurors have increased dramatically. Hold the door open for the woman a few steps behind you and do not be rude to the security guard that asks you to step aside when you go through security. A slip of the tongue or an impatient eye roll can seriously jeopardize your chances at trial, no matter how trivial the action seems at the time.
During the trial, you should appear interested. Bring a notepad and pen - even if you have nothing to write down. Appearing attentive and serious is important. If you aren't taking the trial seriously, why should the jury? If you have a question during trial, do not ask out loud, but instead write it down and show it to your attorney and he will find a way to answer your questions.
You should be respectful of the jury, judge, and prosecuting attorney. Always stand when the judge or jury enters the courtroom. The jurors are always observing you and your behavior and making judgments about your case based on your actions. Your lawyer will have prepared witnesses, evidence and his argument to the jury, but only you can truly control how the jury perceives you.
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