The good news is, most DUI cases resolve without the defendant ever needing to testify in court. However, sometimes testimony is necessary at trial. While this is a rare event, there are some basic testimony tips you should know so that you are better prepared in the case you do have to testify.
Testimony Tip: Be Kind to the Court Reporter
The court reporter's job is taking down everything everyone in the courtroom is saying. When you respond to a question before the lawyer is finished asking it, two people are talking at once. It is virtually impossible for the court reporter to accurately transcribe both people's words. Make sure to wait for the lawyer to stop talking before you answer a question. Additionally, make sure you respond verbally. Don't just nod or shake your head. This cannot be recorded. Instead, answer “yes” or “no” to questions put before you.
Not only will this help the court reporter, but it does two things for you: (1) you will be able to absorb the complete question posed by the lawyer so that you can respond exactly to what he or she is asking and not what you think he or she is asking; and (2) polite behavior will go along way with how people -- like a judge and jury -- perceive you.
Testimony Tip: Focus on the Job at Hand
For many people, this is the first time, and perhaps the only time, they will testify in a court of law. It can be overwhelming to come into court and take the witness stand. Make sure you focus your attention on the task at hand. Do not allow yourself to get distracted by the impressiveness of the courtroom or the presence of the jury. It may make sense to come to the courthouse before the day of your trial, just to see how things look. That way, you will be able to provide your attorney your full attention when he or she asks questions.
Testimony Tip: Trust Your Lawyer
Understand that questioning a witness is governed by certain rules of court. Sometimes people tend to jump ahead and want to testify about one thing, even though the lawyer asked about something else. Trust that your lawyer knows your case and understands the important legal issues that are present. The attorney will get to all important topics. But of course, they can't ask about all topics at once. For certain subjects, the lawyer may have to lay the foundation, which is a process that requires a series of legal questions. If you jump ahead, you may put your case in jeopardy.
Facing DUI Charges?
If you are facing DUI charges, don't go it alone. Let the experienced Hall County DUI legal team at the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson represent you. From litigating pretrial issues to trying cases, we dedicate our entire practice to DUI cases. As a former DUI prosecutor, Richard Lawson knows the way the government prosecutes DUI cases and knows how to respond best to their approach. Contact our office for a case evaluation. We provide complimentary consultation. We have someone available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.