A Tacoma DUI attorney can help in many ways as you proceed with your trial, such as helping you decide if you want to testify. The decision of whether or not you should testify at your trial is not easy and requires weighing several factors. You cannot be compelled to testify, but if you do choose to do so, the prosecutor is allowed to cross-examine you. This alone is a reason why it may not be a good idea to testify. However, the jurors will want to hear what you have to say about what happened. While the court does instruct the jury on the presumption of innocence, meaning the judge will tell the jurors that they are not legally allowed to draw conclusions about you based on your failure to testify, it still affects jurors. Failing to testify may damage your case just as much as choosing to speak up. Your Tacoma DUI Attorney may be able to help you decide if you should testify in your specific circumstances.
Why Jurors Want to Hear What You Have to Say
Testifying may seem dangerous to your case, but jurors do want to hear from you. They may want to know why police officers claim to have seen symptoms of intoxication. They may want to know why the breathalyzer or blood test results seem to show you were in excess of the legal limit. The defendant is often the only witness who can testify at the DUI trial about everything that happened before, during and after the arrest. However, there are also some possible consequences if you choose to testify.
There are several possible legal ramifications if you testify. For example, the case may come down to your word against the police officer’s word. The case may come down to what the defendant says versus what the breathalyzer machine says, which jurors may be hesitant to doubt. In some jurisdictions, the defense counsel is not able to make an opening statement of he or she does not choose to present any evidence. Keep in mind that expert testimony may be necessary to give meaning to your testimony. For example, how can the jury know there is a conflict in the evidence if you testify that you had four beers over three hours while the test result shows a level of .15? Only an expert is able to testify that this consumption pattern would not push someone over the legal limit. Otherwise the jurors may believe that that consumption pattern would indeed result in a person being over the legal limit.
Contact a Tacoma DUI Attorney
For more information, contact Greene & Lloyd, PLLC at (253) 770-0808 to speak with a Tacoma DUI attorney today.