Criminal Defense in Orange County

Juror Biases about Field Sobriety Tests

When a criminal defense lawyer screens potential jurors for biases, he must look out for more than just teetotalers. For example, potential jurors may have trial-compromising biases regarding field sobriety tests. If you refused to perform a field sobriety test, some jurors might suspect you had something to hide. This is a common but unfair assumption that your attorney needs to scan for. And more importantly, a lawyer cannot directly ask the potential jurors whether or not they would hold it against you if you refused a field sobriety test.

Most people are unaware of their own prejudices and think that their own attitudes are fair. However, an experienced attorney can ask a question like: "Can you imagine a situation where it would be reasonable for a sober person to decline to take a field sobriety test?" This is a very effective question, because the hypothetical situations the potential jurors reveal a lot about their attitudes towards authority and privacy.

The answers the potential jurors give can reveal the standard your lawyer would have to meet to convince them that your reasons for declining to take the field sobriety test were reasonable. They can also be presented to the arresting officer during cross-examination. If the police officer disagrees with the jurors, the jurors might be less inclined to believe his testimony. If you are fighting DUI charges, make sure you have an Orange County DUI attorney who can fight for you, even before the trial begins.

Call The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs today for a free initial consultation.