Criminal Defense in Orange County

Winning Over Jurors During Closing Arguments

It is natural to assume that the last words jurors hear in a case will remain strong in their minds as they enter into deliberations. If either side does not provide a credible closing argument that makes sense with the evidence that has been presented, they will close on a weak note and potentially lose points with jurors. Your lawyer knows that courts give standard instructions to the jury in criminal cases. An attorney like Barney Gibbs will focus his closing argument on the criteria the jury will be given, hitting the significant points of testimony and evidence that support the defense in the process.

It is essential that when he does this, credibility and consistency are maintained; as the closing argument remains consistent with the evidence, so can the lawyer's credibility be strengthened. It follows that your criminal defense attorney in Orange County cannot ignore evidence that supports the prosecution. Indeed, to do so would damage your case. Instead, he needs to confront this evidence directly and explain it in such a way as to minimize its impact.

If, for instance, the prosecution has presented evidence that your blood alcohol level was above the legal limit, your lawyer may show that witness accounts of your actions, along with videotape evidence, contradict the test results. He can then tell the jury that the court will instruct them that inconsistent and contrary evidence can, in itself, be grounds for reasonable doubt. Your chances of being acquitted are enhanced or diminished by the quality of your attorney's closing argument.

"Sending a Message" During Closing Arguments

First of all, the closing argument in any trial is the opportunity for the lawyer for each side to reinforce what was promised in opening statements; this can be done by summarizing the evidence as presented by their witnesses. More importantly, this is the time when each attorney will ask the jury to render a verdict based upon the trial testimony and the relevant law. It is a typical prosecution tactic to implore the jury to find you, the defendant, guilty, not only because his or her interpretation of the evidence supports that conclusion, but also in order to "send a message" to the community that such behavior will not be tolerated and will be dealt with harshly.

On its face, this is a compelling argument. After all, what juror, as a responsible member of the community, would not want to punish individuals who drink and drive? By so doing, others in the community will think twice before engaging in such behavior. However, a knowledgeable attorney will anticipate this tactic and prepare an equally and perhaps more compelling argument on your behalf. Despite the objectivity a jury must bring, as charged by the judge as their duty, each juror is an individual swayed by personal bias. The issue of drunk driving receives much publicity, and the result is, like many crimes, one who is accused is assumed to be guilty.

Your Orange County criminal lawyer must make clear to the jury that an accusation is not a conviction. Initially, the best way to do so is to cite to the jury the constitutional presumption of innocence. Although this is an essential foundational concept in our justice system, it must be reinforced to remind and compel the jury to keep an open mind. The second step is to suggest that they, the jurors, are standard bearers for upholding our Constitution. It is incumbent on them to "send a message" to law enforcement and prosecutors who seek convictions on procedures and evidence where a reasonable doubt exists, to find the defendant not guilty.

Let The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs "send a message" to the jury to your advantage. Call our firm now to set up a free case evaluation! We are available 24/7.