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How Your DUI Lawyer May Use Reciprocation with the Jury

Posted by Blackie Burak | Mar 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

There are many strategies your Napa DUI lawyer may use when you take your case to trial. One of these is a psychological principle called the idea of reciprocation. Reciprocation refers to a give-and-take between the person offering a concession and the other party involved. In the context of a DUI trial, your Walnut Creek DUI attorney may do this by providing the jury with entertainment and information that makes the jury more likely want to provide something in return. The key is your lawyer's attempting to do so before the prosecutor is able to try something similar.


A majority of jurors do not really want to be there hearing your case. They get bored very easily, especially when they will be required to sit for hours listening to the presentation of evidence. You can expect your lawyer to try to be entertaining beginning with their initial questioning of the potential jurors. Since most prosecutors will start by discussing the law, your attorney will most likely try to be less dry and instead use examples that both illustrate legal principles while also being entertaining stylistically. The idea is that a jury who likes your attorney is one that is less likely to want to return a guilty verdict in your case.

Offering Time Savings

Your Walnut Creek DUI attorney is also aware that juries prefer trials that are shorter and simpler. They may strive to keeps things simple during your case and may also do things such as stipulate to the admission of certain pieces of evidence that are not under dispute. When your attorney does such things, you should expect them to clearly state that intention within the jury's earshot. For example, they may make a motion with the court by stating something like, “Your honor, the defense moves to stipulate to this piece of evidence.” Sometimes, a stipulation is a good idea because prosecutors may be unable to then present damaging testimony about that item of evidence. If the prosecutor tries to argue against the stipulation, the court will not grant it but the jury will understand that the prosecutor, and not the defense, is responsible for dragging out the case.

Agreeing to Excuse Jurors

One other way your lawyer may engage in reciprocation is by moving to excuse a juror that otherwise would not be excused. For example, if a potential juror does not have any constitutional infirmities to sitting on your case but expresses that they have a business meeting they will miss, your attorney may move the court to allow them to be excused. This communicates to the jury that your lawyer sees them as individual people who also have needs and pressing issues to which they must attend.

Contact a Napa DUI Lawyer

To speak with a Napa DUI lawyer about your DUI case, call The Law Office of Blackie Burak at (925) 933-4500 .

About the Author

Blackie Burak

Attorney Blackie Burak has nearly 40 years of successful criminal defense experience. He effectively uses this experience to mount an aggressive defense against even the most complex DUI / DWI charges. His keen focus on this area is based on his cutting-edge knowledge, skills and courtroom techni...


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Contact Attorney Blackie Burak

If you have been arrested for DUI in northern or central California, please contact the Walnut Creek law office online or call toll free at 1-866-BLCKDUI for a free consultation. Contact Now