What Your Milwaukee DUI Attorney Will Say in an Opening Statement
Though judges in most Wisconsin DUI cases will inform the jury that what the prosecution and defense attorneys say in their opening statements is not to be considered evidence, an effective opening statement is one of the best tools a Milwaukee DUI defense attorney has for presenting an effective case. In the minds of the jurors, a defense attorney’s opening statement is a promise about what the evidence will show. It is therefore important for your attorney not to promise to show something that the evidence will not support.
An effective opening statement needs to be clear and confident. Though your attorney’s opening statement will come after the prosecutor’s, he or she should not immediately assume a defensive position. It’s better to lay out simply and forcefully the theme of your case. This might be a straight negation of what the prosecution has promised to show, or it might be more general, talking about (for example) the prosecutor’s need to prove his or her case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Either way, the opening statement needs to have a firm foundation in the evidence that actually exists in your case. While presenting an opening argument and conducting cross-examination are the most visible things a lawyer does to help your case, a good attorney will have already spent hours behind the scenes talking to you and potential witnesses and going through the physical evidence in your case until he or she has a full understanding of its strengths and weaknesses.
If your Milwaukee DUI attorney is well-prepared and has a thorough understanding of the evidence in your case, the promises made during the opening statement will be supported by the evidence and witness testimony presented throughout the rest of the trial. This will lead the jury to trust your attorney more than they otherwise would.
If you have been charged with DUI in Milwaukee and you want your case evaluated by one of the qualified Milwaukee DUI attorneys at Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C., please fill out the form at the top of this page and we will contact you shortly.