The errors committed here show why it is so important to hire the right lawyer when you have been arrested for DUI. In the recent case of William Tribou, the DUI defense lawyer mistakenly and unnecessarily exposed the jury to potentially unfairly prejudicial material regarding his client. Specifically, jurors heard references to an outstanding warrant for larceny by check and probation information, including the defendant’s probation number. By failing to redact this material, the defendant’s DUI defense lawyer may have harmed his chances of getting a not guilty verdict. Jurors should not learn of certain information which may prejudice them against the defendant and make getting a not guilty verdict more difficult.
The jury learned of the prejudicial information because the DWI lawyer did not personally test the audio-visual equipment he intended to use, at the drunk driving trial, to play the booking video for the jury. When the playback equipment turned out not to be suitable, the attorney ended up using the judge’s laptop computer. However, the OUI attorney did not familiarize himself with the judge’s laptop, so that he could start and stop the video in the proper places. This resulted in jurors learning of unfairly prejudicial information regarding the defendant who was ultimately convicted of drunk driving. The jury convicted the defendant even though the booking video was helpful to the defendant. It showed him to be lucid, responsive, and coordinated. Nevertheless, he was found guilty of OUI and the Massachusetts Appeals Court denied him a new trial.