How Your San Francisco DUI Attorney Builds an Effective Opening Statement

Posted on November 5, 2015


Your San Francisco DUI attorney will probably tell you that the opening statement is one of the most important parts of your DUI case. Jurors form a first impression during the initial moments of the opening statement. Whether this is a positive or negative opinion, it can stay with you for the rest of the trial. The jury’s perception of your story is often reinforced by evidence that is presented later. To act in your best interests, your attorney must develop a strong opening statement to establish a positive theme as quickly as possible.

The Elements of an Opening Statement

Prosecutors and DUI defense attorneys often handle opening statements differently. Each attorney may have a different approach to the process. Some attorneys prefer to outline all of the evidence and issues. Others focus on the most important facts. The strategy may also depend on the case. If your attorney decides to present an opening statement, he or she should tailor the speech to your unique situation. Usually, your attorney will present important details, such as whether there was a chemical test and why the results of a sobriety test are not what they seem. It’s common for these issues to be backed up by evidence and explored later in the case.

How an Opening Statement Is Developed

An effective defense strategy starts with the opening statement. It’s a foundation from which the rest of your defense builds. This opening monologue should cover the basics of your case, but it should not be a simple repetition of facts and dates. An experienced San Francisco DUI attorney should link the information into a story about your life. To prepare a case and opening statement, the attorney will ask you questions and may request supporting documents from the relevant law enforcement agency. To help your attorney, you might need to answer these questions.

  • How did you feel when the offer said, “You are under arrest”?
  • Which route did you take when the arrest occurred?
  • What happened when you discussed the arrest with your family or employer?
  • What was the sequence of events between the time you were pulled over until you were arrested?
Contact a San Francisco DUI Attorney

To build a successful case and an effective opening statement, your attorney needs to research the facts and discuss the situation with you. If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, call (415) 795-3890 to speak with a San Francisco DUI attorney at Silveira Law.