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Selecting a Jury in a Massachusetts OUI Trial

Anyone charged with OUI in Massachusetts has the opportunity to have their case heard by a jury. The jury will consist of seven members of the community where the case is being heard; one juror is designated as the alternate, meaning back up juror and six jurors deliberate to reach a verdict. A jury must reach a unanimous verdict or the trial will end in a mistrial, or hung jury, meaning that the case will have to be tried again before a different jury.

How are jurors selected in Massachusetts?

Prior to a jury trial, the court will bring in about 12 to 20 people as the pool of jurors. The judge reads a serious of questions provided by the Massachusetts OUI lawyer that attempt to exclude jurors for cause that may have a particular bias against the defendant charged; the prosecutor can also excluded jurors who appear to sympathetic to the accused, with the goal that a fair and impartial jurors is selected. DUI lawyer would want to obtain a juror that would be most willing to accept the arguments being advanced by the defendant in support of a not guilty verdict.

At a Massachusetts OUI trial, the clerk of the court will call the first seven jurors on the list as the potential jurors. Each juror is asked if they had any positive response to the list of questions read in court, which include questions such as whether a juror would have trouble disbelieving the testimony of a police officer or whether the juror is a member of Mother's Against Drunk Driving or any organization aimed at more restrictive DUI laws. Additionally, I have asked jurors whether they are aware of recent news Articles from the Boston Globe regarding Massachusetts DUI trials and have written about Drunk driving on Facebook, Twitter or other social media.

What information is known to a Massachusetts OUI lawyer about the jurors prior to trial?

The court provides each attorney with a list of potential jurors and provides basic information. This information includes biographical information, such as the juror's employment, level of education, spouse's employment and involvement with the court system, including whether they or any close family members have been ever charged with a criminal offense. Notably absent from the basic jury information, are questions about attitudes toward alcohol consumption. As a Massachusetts OUI lawyer, I can ask the judge to ask additional questions of the juror regarding alcohol consumption. The extent to which a judge will allow additional questioning varies between judges.

After a jury is selected, both sides are permitted to give opening statements. An opening statement is a preview of what the defense lawyer believes the evidence will show. In bench trials, opening statements are typically not made.

To understand more about jury selection, you can call Attorney DelSignore at 781-686-5924 or 508-455-4755.

Client Reviews
Michael was very professional and explained the process clearly and told us to be patient. After one year the charges got dismissed in the trial. Excellent knowledge of the court systems in the area of Boston. Would highly recommend him Ashwani
A careless decision on my part left me facing charges which would have severely hampered my ability to stay employed and support myself. But attorney DelSignore's skillful analysis and challenging of the evidence against me resulted in a conviction on a lesser charge. Now I'll be able to go on with my life, having learned a lesson I'll never forget. Thank you, Michael. Scott
Mike stuck with my case for 3.5 years and always kept me informed regarding the status. Ultimately, because of his due diligence, we ended up with an OUI not guilty verdict. This case could have gone many ways but his thorough review of the case and exceptional preparedness for trial ultimately drove a positive outcome. Thank you Mike! David
Michael DelSignore did an amazing job with my case! He was always available to answer any questions I had and helped walked me through the entire process. I could not have done it without them! I highly recommend choosing this law firm to deal with your legal needs, you will not be dissatisfied. Ashley
I cannot express the gratitude towards Michael for his amazing work and help. It was a very stressful event and they certainly put me at as much ease as possible. From start to finish it took 14 months and all the way through they were both very engaged with me. Today was worth the wait, Michael was great in court and I was rightfully found not guilty. I would recommend Michael over and over again. Claire