A good DUI defense lawyer is known for being adept at cross-examination and closing statements. In our opinion, a good cross-examination of an arresting officer will show a jury exactly what we want them to see. This is our golden opportunity to humanize our client, and expose the weaknesses in the case against him or her.
With the right presence and courtroom rhetoric, it's possible to effectively cross-examine an arresting officer at a DUI trial.
Some criminal lawyers have subtle personalities, however, success hinges on the defense attorney’s full knowledge of what’s in the police report, what’s on the tape, and their willingness to get confrontational.
A good DUI defense lawyer will know which questions to ask, and they will methodically ask questions of the officer, without getting rattled. Cross-examination of the police officer is accusatory by nature, and it is our job to expose any lies (without calling the officer a liar) or officers who dishonor a very honorable profession.
What is cross-examination? It is an attorney’s opportunity to ask a witness questions in court. However, cross-examination is not a deposition. It is a chance to ask a witness, or in this case the arresting officer, open-ended questions. It is our chance to show the jury why a witness is mistaken or simply wrong.
Goals of Cross Examining the Arresting Officer
The goals of cross examining the arresting officer in an Orange County DUI case are pretty straightforward:
- To contrast what the officer claims our client did wrong with everything that the client did right.
- To expose inconsistencies in the police report.
- To offer up reasonable explanations for the client’s behavior other than that he or she was intoxicated.
- Conclude the cross examination on a high note, emphasizing reasonable doubt.
Being thoroughly prepared aids greatly in our control of DUI trials and in the cross-examination of witnesses. In fact, we firmly believe that it is our level of preparation that has resulted in so many client success stories.
Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. if you are facing DUI charges in Orange County!