An extremely important part of any operating while intoxicated jury trial is the opening statement. An opening statement is given either directly after the prosecutor does their opening, or reserved until the prosecutor rests. The purpose of an opening statement is to let the jury know what the defendant believes the evidence is going to show. Although every criminal case is different and there are many different strategies available for openings, we have found that in drunk driving cases, setting the foundation for our trial arguments in a way that anybody would understand is key to successfully winning. OWI trial lawyer Jim Amberg will generally narrow his opening to a concise discussion of the one or two issues that he believes will be the most important to the jury.
Every once in awhile we can secure a video of the court proceedings during our drinking and driving trials in Oakland County. As seen in this video, Jim lays out his opening statement in a complicated operating while intoxicated 3rd offense felony case.
Opening statements are the best time for the defense attorney to let the jury know all of the good and bad facts that they may hear, and begin reinforcing the arguments that the defendant will have throughout their case.