After each side has presented its case in a DUI / DWI case, each attorney gives closing arguments. Closing arguments in DUI trials are the opportunity for the lawyers to give a final pitch to the jury. An experienced drunk driving defense attorney takes this opportunity to show that the prosecutor hasn’t proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor typically uses closing arguments to give a summary of the evidence that he or she believes points to the defendant’s guilt.
Because the prosecutor has the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt, he or she gives the first closing argument. After the defense attorney’s closing argument, the prosecutor also gets the last word in what is known as rebuttal.
A prosecutor must prove every element of the DUI case beyond a reasonable doubt. A savvy prosecutor often tries to minimize this burden to the jury or even tries to make it seem as if the defense has a burden to prove innocence. Although jurors are specifically instructed that this is untrue, they may forget this fact during a prosecutor’s smooth closing argument. It’s up to the defense attorney to remind jurors who has the burden of proving the case.
The prosecutor will typically review all of the evidence, focusing on items that point to the defendant’s guilt. The jury may be shown the booking photo of the defendant on the night of arrest, or the prosecutor may describe the physical signs of intoxication. The prosecutor will then review the testimony of each witness. Finally, the prosecutor will ask the jury to render a verdict of guilty.
After the prosecutor is finished with the closing argument, the defendant’s attorney gives the closing argument for the defense. A skilled criminal defense attorney will deliver an effective closing argument that can overcome any points made by the prosecutor.