Initial questions from your DUI attorney when you take the stand at your trial

Last Modified: August 14, 2023

Initial questions from your DUI attorney when you take the stand at your trial

If you and your DUI attorney decide that you should testify at your DUI trial, you can expect your attorney to begin your direct examination with some preliminary questions designed to introduce you to the jury, set you at ease, and set the stage for your testimony. These questions will ask you to identify yourself and explain why you have decided to testify. Your DUI lawyer may also ask you about the day of the incident and any stress you were under during that day.

Below are some typical preliminary questions that a DUI defense attorney might pose to his or her client.

Introduction and setting you at ease

Q: John, please state your name for the jury.
Q: How old are you?
Q: Where do you live?
Q: Why were you visiting here? (Your attorney may advise you to highlight some local attraction.)
Q: Now John, are you nervous?
Q: How come?
Q: So you have never testified before?
Q: Remember during voir dire I told the jurors to relax?
Q: Some of them still had a hard time speaking to us. We let them take their time to settle down.
Q: So you can do the same, okay?
Q: I am going to try to ask you simple questions, but sometimes they can be confusing. If that happens let me know.

Why you have decided to testify at your DUI trial

Q: When I am done, if I have left anything out, the prosecutor will also question you. He may be a bit more confusing because he has not taken the time to get to know you, but answer him if you can, okay?
Q: In fact, we sent a letter to the prosecutor indicating you wanted to talk to him?
Q: They never called you?
Q: Never took the time to listen to what you had to say?
Q: Jumping ahead, did the officer ever sit you down and ask for your side of the story?
Q: No, they just followed their script?
Q: Asked you the questions we heard during the trial?
Q: Well, we will get into all of that now, okay?
Q: You decided to talk to the jury even though you heard the judge tell them you did not have to?
Q: Why is that?
Q: How important is it to you that the jury hears your side of the facts?

Stress on you on the day of the incident

Q: So let’s talk about the events of [date on which DUI arrest occurred].
Q: Were you at work?
Q: How long have you worked at IBM?
Q: What kind of work do you do there?
Q: Sounds like a responsible position.
Q: So the company you work for figures you to be a responsible person?
Q: One of good judgment?
Q: Do you supervise others?
Q: How many?
Q: On this day, was there any thing special happening at work? (There is almost always some extra stress at work or at home. This is good to get in front of the jury as it lends a human aspect to the case.)
Q: How big a project was this?
Q: Had you been working a lot of extra hours?
Q: What time did you get to work?
Q: What time did you leave?

Your DUI defense attorney can continue on in this vein until painting a complete picture for the jury of the stress of the day. The same approach can be used if you were at home instead of at work.

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