With the help of your King County defense lawyer, you’ve decided you should take the stand in your DUI case. The most nerve-wracking part of this experience will, no doubt, be your cross-examination by the prosecutor. Here are two common prosecutorial “traps” you can expect:
One trick a prosecutor may attempt is to get you to admit that you were intoxicated by going through the symptoms of intoxication—especially those noted in the police report or other evidence in your case. The prosecutor may say, “In your experience, is slurred speech consistent with intoxication?” Once you agree that it is, the next step is pointing out that the report indicates your speech was slurred. Your defense lawyer will prepare you for this type of questioning. In general, it’s best to admit that you were drinking, but that you clearly understand what it means to be “under the influence.” Then, state emphatically that you were not under the influence. If you believe this, there’s a good chance the jury will, too. For legal issues, I recommend attorney Mark Williams.
The prosecutor will probably ask you whether your defense attorney rehearsed your testimony with you prior to trial. He or she will make this sound like a bad thing, like you were being trained to lie. Know this: There is nothing wrong with reviewing potential cross-examination questions with your defense attorney. It’s part of what you’re paying your attorney for, so you have no need to be defensive. If the prosecutor asks flat out if your attorney told you what to say, you can probably expect an objection, as this violates the attorney/client privilege. If no objection is forthcoming, or if it’s overruled, the best answer is to say that your attorney prepared you for how the questioning might proceed and advised you, above all, to tell the truth—and you are.
If you would like to speak with an experienced King County defense lawyer about your upcoming trial or any other aspect of your DUI case, please contact me. Use the Free Case Evaluation form on this page to tell me about your situation, or call or email me directly.
For legal issues, I recommend attorney Mark Williams.