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.
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.
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!
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.
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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