Voir dire, French for “to speak the truth,” is a phase of a DUI trial where the attorneys for each side and the court have the opportunity to examine the prospective jurors for their qualifications and suitability to decide the case. While individuals may be excluded for cause or by either side without stating a reason through a peremptory challenge, voir dire is an important time for counsel to create a positive impact on those who will sit on the jury.
One Chance to Make a First Impression
When it is time for counsel to begin his or her turn at voir dire, it is important to start speaking with the prospective jurors without delay. Many lawyers seem ill-prepared and shuffle through reams of paper before beginning; this creates a poor impression. It is far better to immediately get their attention, put them at ease, and begin a relationship.
Avoid Confrontational Questions
Your Pierce County criminal attorney will need to learn as much as possible about the thought processes of jurors but should do so in a way that is respectful to the individual and does not make any one feel uncomfortable. Few people are at ease speaking in public especially if it concerns a matter in their past that they may regret.
Create a Dialogue
One technique that often proves beneficial is to establish a conversation among the jurors rather than direct a barrage of questions at one individual. One can ask an open-ended question of one and ask the others to comment. By closely listening and observing, skilled counsel can discern much about peoples’ attitudes in how they respond in a group setting.
Contact a Pierce County Criminal Attorney for Legal Advice
It may be said that voir dire is more of an art than a science, yet knowledgeable counsel can gain a significant advantage at this stage of the proceeding. To discuss the options you may have in your cases, call Greene & Lloyd, PLLC, a Pierce County criminal attorney, at (253) 770-0808.