What Kind of Juror Don’t You Want on a DUI case?

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When a DUI case finally makes it to trial, the first thing that happens is jury selection.  This stage of the trial is called voir dire.  Most municipal court judges in Columbus begin jury selection with comments and initial questions, and then allow the prosecutor and the defense attorney to question the prospective members of the jury.  However, some judges conduct jury selection themselves and only allow the prosecutor and defense attorney to submit proposed questions.  As a defense attorney, this is not the ideal situation.  An experienced DUI attorney knows that careful jury selection is essential to successfully defending against a drunk driving charge.

Careful questioning of prospective jurors allows the defense to better understand the individuals that will be determining the case.  In a DUI case, there are some people that you just don’t want on a jury.  The most obvious example is a person with strong personal feelings against drinking alcohol.  Whether the person doesn’t believe in alcohol due to moral, religious, or bad past experience, this is not the kind of person that is likely to give a defendant a fair trial.

Another example is a prospective juror that has previously been convicted of DUI.  This type of juror may have negative feelings associated with their own past experience that they might project onto the defendant.  They may feel that the defendant’s case must be worse than theirs if the case is going to trial, or they might feel that everyone charged with DUI is guilty because they were.  However, if the prospective juror feels that they were not treated fairly in their own case they might just have some sympathy for the defendant.

If you’ve been charged with DUI in Columbus, contact a skilled DUI attorney for more information by calling (614) 547-5757.