A DUI is considered a “victimless” crime in Arizona; thus, a defendant can be prosecuted even if no one was injured prior to the arrest. However, if you were injured in an accident involving a driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be called on for testifying in a criminal case against said driver. It’s normal to feel nervous in such a situation. Just remember that you’re not on trial. And if you don’t speak up, the person who hurt you could go unpunished—and perhaps even harm someone else. The bravery that you show by testifying will help your peace of mind in the long run.
The prosecutor may speak with you briefly or at length before the trial. For attorneys, a general rule when conducting a direct examination is: “Don’t ask a question to which you don’t know the answer.” Therefore, the prosecutor will want to know generally what you’re going to say before you take the stand. You may also have your own private attorney help you prepare to testify.
The injury attorneys at Thompson Law Firm in Phoenix have significant experience in helping clients who have been in a DUI accident, including coaching people who need help testifying. Our offices are conveniently located in Chandler, Peoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person or over the phone or video call. You can contact us for a free consultation, or read on to find out more.
By the way, we will also help with other problems that have cost you sleep, like getting a rental car very soon and finding a nearby doctor or psychiatrist who can help get your life back on track. Even the best legal team isn’t good enough if your quality of life isn’t sustainable while justice and compensation are on the way. The whole point of legal action is to regain quality of life, so we help you long-term as attorneys and short-term as your go-to people.
If you are unsure whether or not you can afford an attorney, don’t worry. We only get paid when you settle. Check out our Attorney Fees Calculator to find out more.
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When you’re called to the stand for testifying in a criminal case, you’ll probably be questioned by both the prosecutor and the defense attorney. The prosecutor will ask you questions to establish:
You may not have a lot to say about the first issue. If you were seriously injured, you might not have had much interaction with the defendant, and thus might not be able to testify about whether he or she seemed impaired.
The defense attorney may object when the prosecutor asks you questions about your injuries. This evidence is not directly relevant to whether the defendant was driving under the influence, because even sober drivers can get into accidents and cause injuries. The defense attorney may try to get you off the stand as quickly as possible to avoid more opportunities for the jury to feel sympathetic toward you (and thus potentially more likely to convict his or her client).
However, a defense attorney may go on the attack if he or she feels that you could be lying about the accident or concealing facts. For example, the defense may also endeavor to establish that you yourself were driving recklessly in an attempt to prove that the accident was not caused by the defendant’s impairment.
The defense attorney should not attack a victim’s character in general, though and if he or she tries to do so, the prosecutor should object.
Here are some things to remember when you’re testifying on the stand:
If you are testifying, be sure to follow these guidelines:
Get Help Now
At the Thompson Law Firm, we have more than 10 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries, including those who are testifying after a DUI. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office.
If you have been in a DUI car accident, contact Thompson Law Firm in Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in the greater Phoenix area including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.
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