Orange County Criminal Lawyer Offices

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Closing Argument

Credibility is a vital component to a successful closing argument in defending a DUI charge. An experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney can cultivate the credibility and illustrate the gravitas necessary to convince the jury of a client’s innocence in the following ways:

Memorable Evidence

Focusing closing arguments on defense-oriented, memorable evidence from the trial is useful in helping the jury recall important information. Discerning the evidence in the defendant’s favor that the jury is most likely to remember, and focusing on this evidence, can work to ensure the jurors remain aware of exculpatory evidence.
Jury Instructions:

Most courts use standard-form jury instructions in criminal cases. It is therefore important to marry key words from these instructions into the closing argument, creating a link between how the judge instructs the jury to think about the case, and how you define the “story” of the case to the jury.

Confronting pro-prosecution evidence and reasonable doubt

One cannot will away evidence the prosecution puts forth to make its case. This evidence must be addressed head-on, with vigor and persuasion. It should be explained in a manner that is commensurate with what the jury heard and with the requirement that the State prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, presume the jurors were presented with evidence of a chemical test result that was above the legal limit. One promising defense route could be the presentation of evidence that appears inconsistent with the chemical test result. This could come in the form of lay witness testimony that the defendant was not intoxicated, video evidence of sobriety, or other evidence that casts doubt on the chemical test. Illustrating to the jury evidence that contradicts the pro-prosecution evidence, as well as reminding the jury that they must find all elements as true beyond a reasonable doubt, can be used to convince jurors that the test results suffer from serious legitimacy issues and cannot be wholly reliable.

Respect

Treat your client with the respect and dignity he/she deserves at all times. It is important that the jury identifies with your client. Should you de-humanize your client, the jury will notice and take note.

For more information on how you can be best represented in defending your DUI charge, contact an Orange County DUI defense attorney today.