Making the Decision Whether to Testify at Your DUI Trial

by | May 8, 2017 | DUI | 0 comments

Making the decision regarding whether or not to testify at your trial is a challenge.  Your Michigan DUI lawyer will advise you to carefully consider and weigh the many factors involved in the decision.  You cannot be compelled to give testimony at your trial.  However, if you do decide to testify, you automatically give the prosecution cross-examination rights; it therefore may be in your best interests not to testify.

On the flip side, jurors want to hear your testimony and sometimes draw adverse conclusions when a DUI defendant chooses not to take the stand.  The jurors will have been instructed to presume innocence, which means that legally, they cannot infer anything from your decision to testify or not, but your Michigan DUI lawyer will tell you that this is something jurors find difficult to follow.

Why Jurors Need to Hear Your Testimony

Jurors want to hear a credible explanation from you regarding the many questions that arise during a trial.  Why were intoxication symptoms claimed to have been observed by the arresting officer?  Why does it appear that the blood test or breathalyzer results are over the legal limit?   Sometimes, the defendant is the sole witness to everycircumstance and event that happened during, before and after the arrest.  It thus often happens that the only witness available to the defense is the defendant.

Potential Legal Ramifications of Testifying

Some jurisdictions do not allow the defense counsel to make opening statements if counsel is not presenting any evidence.  As previously mentioned, the defendant’s testimony is often counsel’s only evidence.  Therefore, the case will be reduced to the officer’s word against the defendant’s, or the test results against the defendant’s word.

If you decide to testify, your Michigan DUI lawyer will inform you that an expert may be needed to clarify your statements concerning your consumption of alcohol.   For instance, you may state that over a time period of three hours, you consumed 4 beers.  Will the jury realize that the subsequent test result of .15 presents a contradiction in the evidence?  Expert testimony is needed to explain that the consumption pattern you described would give a test number lower than the allowed limit.  Without expert testimony, the jury may think that a .15 test result can be produced by 4 beers consumed over a period or three hours.

Contact Us

DUI cases can be difficult and complex.  If you would like to consult a knowledgeable Michigan DUI lawyer regarding whether or not you should take the stand at your trial, please contact the Law Offices of Christopher Trainor & Associates at 800-961-8477.

Christopher Trainor and Associates Featured on WXYZ

Recently Christopher Trainor and Associates was featured on WXYZ 7 Action News in Detroit regarding a client's case against the Detroit Police Department in which the client was wrongly arrested and held in jail. The full article and can be found on the WXYZ website.

St Joseph, MI – Injuries Result from Wreck on I-94 near Martin Luther King Dr

St Joseph, MI (March 25, 2022) - A major car crash happened on an interstate in St Joseph on the afternoon of March 20. At approximately 5:10 p.m., an unspecified number of vehicles collided on Interstate 94. Reports show the accident happened on I-94 near Martin...

Zeeland, MI – Auto Accident on Fairview Rd at Washington Ave Ends in Injuries

Zeeland, MI (March 25, 2022) - An auto accident happened on the morning of March 25 in Zeeland that resulted in injuries. The wreck occurred shortly after 8:00 a.m., according to reports.  Sources say the collision took place on Fairview Road near Washington...

Paw Paw, MI – Major Car Crash on M-43 between 37th & 40th St

Paw Paw, MI (March 25, 2022) - A motor vehicle accident occurred in Paw Paw on the morning of March 23 that required an emergency response. The incident was reported to authorities in the area at around 12:21 p.m. Various responders were observed at the scene of the...

Romulus, MI – Motor Vehicle Collision Causes Injuries on I-94 near Vining Rd

Romulus, MI (March 25, 2022) - At least one person was hurt in a crash reported in Romulus on March 25. At approximately 12:55 p.m., police were dispatched to the scene of the wreck located on Interstate 94.  Responders including paramedics, fire crews, and...

Holland, MI – Injury Accident on Waverly Rd at 48th St Requires EMT Dispatch

Holland, MI (March 25, 2022) - On the morning of March 25, at approximately 6:55 a.m., a car accident in Holland required an emergency dispatch.  Reports indicate that a vehicle collided with a pole near 48th Street on Waverly Road.  To assist the injured...

Jackson, MI – Serious Car Accident on M-106 near Deweese Rd and Hawkins Rd

Jackson, MI (March 25, 2022) - Police officers in Jackson were dispatched to the scene of a major car crash on Friday, March 25. According to local officials, the collision happened at approximately 4:00 p.m. on M-106. While emergency personnel rendered aid to those...

Detroit, MI – Police Dispatched to Crash Scene on I-96 near Davison St

Detroit, MI (March 25, 2022) - On March 25, at least one person was injured in a car accident in Detroit. The wreck was reported to officials in the area at approximately 10:50 p.m. According to information from reports, the accident occurred on I-96 near Davison...

Wyoming, MI – Major Accident on 28th St near Clyde Park Ave

Wyoming, MI (March 24, 2022) - Highway patrol officers and first responders were called to the scene of a vehicle collision on March 24 on 28th Street in Wyoming. Reports show that an unspecified number of vehicles collided in the area, resulting in the injury of at...

St Clair, MI – Siblings Killed in Wreck on Kinney Rd near Burt Rd

St Clair, MI (March 24, 2022) - A brother and sister were killed in a two-car crash on Thursday, March 24 in Riley Township. The incident was reported north of Interstate 69 on Kinney Road near Burt Road.  Three people were also hospitalized with injuries,...