Want to Understand Your DUI Testimony? Speak with Our San Francisco DUI Lawyer

Posted on October 29, 2015

DUI Testimony

If you have been convicted of a DUI, our San Francisco DUI lawyer may be able to help you decide whether you should testify at your trial. While you cannot be compelled to testify, the prosecutor will have the right to perform a cross-examination if you do. For this reason, it is not always a good idea to testify. However, jurors often want to hear from the defendant. The court will instruct the jury that they may not draw any negative inference from your refusal to testify. Nonetheless, it is often difficult for jurors to put these conclusions out of their minds.

Testifying for a Jury

Jurors want some form of credible explanation from you on the many different topics that will come up during your trial. For example, they may want you to explain why officers observed symptoms of intoxication as well as why the blood or breathalyzer test yielded results over the legal limit. At any DUI trial, you are usually the only one who can testify to the events that took place before, during, and after your arrest. You may be the only witness, which makes your testimony a pivotal component of the jury’s decision-making process. A San Francisco DUI lawyer may be able to advise you on whether testifying is right in your individual case.

Legal Penalties and Consequences

There are some serious ramifications of your decision to testify at trial. Some jurisdictions do not allow the defense counsel to make an opening statement without presenting any evidence. In many cases, the only evidence the defense counsel has is the defendant’s testimony. This means that your case will be decided by putting your word against that of the breathalyzer test and arresting officer. If you testify about your alcohol consumption, expert testimony may be required to give meaning to your testimony. If you claim to have consumed four beers over three hours and your breathalyzer test says .15, an expert witness may confirm that such a rate of consumption would result in a result below the legal limit. Without an expert witness, uninformed jury members may think that consuming four beers in more than three hours can result in a .15 breath-alcohol concentration.

Contact a San Francisco DUI Lawyer

Call Silveira Law today at (415) 795-3890 to speak with a San Francisco DUI lawyer you can trust to represent your case.