PHOTO #1: Municipal Court Judge Vanessa Heinold instructs an eighth-grade class at Trinity Episcopal School in preparation for a mock trial that will be held May 9. Photo contributed by Trinity Episcopal School.
PHOTO #2: From left, Victoria Police Department Sgt. Branden Allen and Detective Emily Erickson watch as a student attempts to complete a field sobriety test at Trinity Episcopal School during an exercise conducted in preparation for a mock trial that will be held May 9. Photo contributed by Trinity Episcopal School.
PHOTO #3: Students from Trinity Episcopal School participate in a mock trial Nov. 3, 2021, in the City of Victoria Municipal Court courtroom. Photo contributed by Trinity Episcopal School.
The City of Victoria Municipal Court will host a mock trial featuring eighth-grade students from Trinity Episcopal School at 9 a.m. May 9 in the municipal courtroom at 107 W. Juan Linn St.
The mock trial is open to the public. Doors open at 8:30 a.m.
The trial is based on the fictional case of a teenage driver suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol.
“The students had to familiarize themselves with the standard for a DUI charge in a minor, which is the presence of any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor’s system,” said Municipal Court Judge Vanessa Heinold. “That is an important lesson for these students, especially since they will be getting their driver’s licenses in just a few years.”
In preparation for the trial, Heinold has been visiting the class twice a week since March, teaching the students about court proceedings and helping them develop statements and examination questions to use during the trial.
Victoria Police Department Detective Emily Erickson and Sgt. Branden Allen also visited the class to talk about the dangers of impaired driving.
The visiting police officers explained how they investigate DUI cases and conducted hands-on activities using impairment goggles. The students observed how the goggles affected their ability to perform “divided attention” tasks that require both physical and mental engagement.
To learn more about Municipal Court programs, visit www.victoriatx.gov/municipalcourt. To partner with the court for an educational event, visit www.victoriatx.gov/courtoutreach.