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DWI trial tomorrow...what to expect and courtroom etiquette questions

San Marcos, TX |

I have my long awaited DWI trial tomorrow...I'm really nervous (although I won't testify)

What should I expect? What happens? What's appropriate dress? Eye contact with jurors? How to address jurors outside of courtroom? Can I bring notes for me to reference regarding the case?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, I'm so freaking nervous and haven't been able to get a good nights sleep in several days.

Thanks so much.

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

I advise my clients to dress business casual. Not so sloppy it looks like you're not taking the proceeding seriously, but not so dressed up it looks like you're overselling yourself.

You should make eye contact with the jurors. Be casual, friendly, and appropriate. Don't stare anyone down, but don't avoid eye contact either.

You may not speak to jurors at all. If you run into them in the hall, nothing more than a good morning or a thank you is appropriate. If one of them tries to initiate a conversation with you, simply apologize and tell them your attorney has advised you that it is inappropriate to speak to them. The judge will probably tell them this, but sometimes they forget.

You are welcome to bring notes and make notes during the trial. It is helpful to your attorney if you make notes rather than whispering to him during testimony.

Try to relax. If you act like a bundle of nerves, the jurors may interpret this as guilt.

Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Jaggers offers everyone a free consultation to discuss their case. Feel free to call her office at 214-365-9800 to make an appointment (phones are answered 24 hours) or visit her website at www.macyjaggers.com for more information about her services and recent victories.

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Posted

Generally, I recommend that you approach everyone as you would anyone who is about to be your best friend, because if the case goes well, that is what you want. Quiet, respectful and eye contact as appropriate to developing this new healthy relationship of you and your new friends. Good luck!

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Posted

Dress nicely like you were going to a nice restaurant. The jurors are just like you, so look at them smile, be polite. Forget the notes and act relaxed. Pressure is not on you so dont look at it that way and you will be fine. As your DUI attorney pressure would be on me, and im use to the pressure.I actually enjoy it.

Jonathan N. Portner, Esquire, Portner & Shure, P.A. Maryland and Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys. This response is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This response should not be relied upon. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm

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Posted

This is sooooo stuff to talk over with your lawyer.

Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.

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6 comments

Asker

Posted

I have Evan, but it's always good to get a second opinion or explanation, right? I don't think all attorneys here are to solicit business, but to help people with valid questions or concerns. I've received some great points from the responses that were not addressed by my attorney and thank you to them!!!

William A. Jones Jr.

William A. Jones Jr.

Posted

Actually truth of the matter is, no it's not always good to get a second opinion. Attorneys are not supposed to be offering advice/discussing cases with people who already have counsel representing them in the matter. Now you didn't indicate that you had counsel in your question, so for that reason alone none of the attorneys who indulged your desire to cross check your attorney have run afoul of the rules governing the conduct of lawyers. But is it really better to get another answer or view from unknown attorneys with no real understanding of your circumstances? I don't think it's a good idea and especially on the eve of trial I think it's a potentially damaging activity. Just my thoughts, others may/will disagree.

Asker

Posted

Other attorneys have answered my questions, thank you for your concern...my questions were basic in nature and not meant to be case specific...dress attire, contact with jurors, etc... They've done a fine job answering basic questions I have posted the last couple of years and I really appreciate them. If I shall ever need legal services in their area of practice, they would be on the top of my list of prospects...especially Gene and Macy.

William A. Jones Jr.

William A. Jones Jr.

Posted

Happy you're happy. Your response to mine is entirely reasonable and the beautiful thing is that we can agree to disagree and still remain friends.

Asker

Posted

Absolutly my friend!!! Thanks for your time.

William A. Jones Jr.

William A. Jones Jr.

Posted

You are very welcome and I hope all goes well for you tomorrow.

Posted

Just a brief addition to some fine advice you have already received. I assume you have an attorney representing you. If that assumption is in error then I think your case of nerves is very appropriate. Why haven't these most basic questions about a jury trial been the subject of careful discussion already? It's frankly beyond my comprehension that you are scheduled tomorrow and needed answers this evening. Good luck.

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Posted

Your lawyer didn't go over this with you?!?!?! Really?!?!?!

This post is for discussion purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. This post does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in retaining counsel, you may contact The Law Office of Daniel O'Brien, P.C. at 512-615-3580 to discuss further.

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1 comment

Asker

Posted

Sure didn't, unfortunately he didn't go over many pertinent points that would helped my defense...I'm not hapy with my guilty verdict and feel my reresentation from my DWI attorney was mediocre at best.

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