What Happens After I Enter A Plea Of Not Guilty In My DWI Case?
Before the judge will allow us to schedule the case for trial, they will often require the defendant to view the in-car video. When we obtain the in-car video or the body cam video showing how you did on the field sobriety tests, we review those independently to see if it is congruent with the officer’s report and probable cause affidavit. In addition to reviewing that ourselves, we also invite you to come to review the video at your leisure. In some cases, if it’s not possible for you to come to the office, we may make special arrangements to get an exception so we can send you a copy of the video.
After the case is scheduled for trial, even though we may have already reviewed the video, I usually like to review the video again with my clients. I invite them to come to the office and sit down and watch the video with me. There may be certain things in the video that only my client can inform me about or describe because they were there. The situation may not be readily apparent from watching the video. For instance, the video is not going to show that it was freezing cold out and that is why you were shivering. The video may not be of high enough quality to show that there was debris on the road that may have caused you to step off the line. Another thing that we try to do in every case that goes to trial is to go to the scene of the incident and do a visual inspection. A lot of times I want to go there with my client and have my client show me where they were asked to walk the line and what the conditions were at that time. If they got pulled over for weaving or not staying in their lane, I might want to go back over the scene and see if they were weaving to prevent their car from being damaged because of a pothole or some damage to the road.
I also like to spend time with my client and talk with them about their right to testify and their right to remain silent, so I can make a preliminary determination about whether their testimony is going to be helpful or harmful in the case. If we think we are going to have you testify, we like to do a couple of dry runs and practice what your testimony is going to be as well as having somebody else do a mock cross-examination. If you do decide that you are going to take the witness stand and testify in your own defense then that’s your decision to make and your decision alone. I may advise you and I may guide you but ultimately it is your decision.
If you do decide that you are going to get on the stand and testify at your trial, you have a right to do so. We want to make sure that when you exercise that right, you are going to be prepared for the hard questions that the prosecutors will ask. It may take many hours of preparation, practice, and rehearsal, so that when you are on the witness stand you feel comfortable and confident in your testimony. Your testimony needs to be persuasive to the jury, but it can’t appear to be rehearsed or scripted. It needs to be believable and credible.
Additionally, we do an extensive background check of all the prospective jurors. That includes consulting with the client about whether they know any of the prospective jurors personally. Sometimes it can be helpful and sometimes it can be harmful. We don’t want to wait until we are sitting in the courtroom and the jurors are in the jury box to find out that our client knows one of the jurors. We also check to see whether the prospective jurors have any criminal history, if they have any ties to law enforcement, what their educational background is, and what their professional background is. We’ll look for anything that may indicate a bias either for or against the defense. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes in preparation for a jury trial. It’s a team sport. It’s not something that we do on our own, it’s something that we work with our clients to accomplish in our quest to achieve the best result possible.
For more information on Aftermath Of Entering A Not Guilty Plea, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (512) 478-9898 today.
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