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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi I was arrested for drink driving on friday and have to

Resolved Question:

Hi
I was arrested for drink driving on friday and have to appear in court on 30th dec.
Having suffered a miscarriage over the past few wks and ending up in hospital due to complications i have been having panic attacks which i have told no one about. On friday i went shopping and bought a bottle of wine, while in the car i started having a panic attack so pulled over. I had pains in my chest and felt i couldnt breathe and needed to take some painkillers. The only liquid i had with me was the wine so i poured probably half the bottle into an empty squash bottle which i had in my car. In a panic i used the wine to take the tablets and downed what was in the plastic bottle, probably half a bottle. I stayed in the car for around 20 mins before driving home and getting stopped by police.
I honestly was not thinking straight and would never have considered it if i wasnt in such a panic. Also i hadnt slept more than 2-3hrs the previous night and not eaten for maybe 36hrs.
I was charged with reading of 68.
Is it worth me consulting a solicitor to put forward the above info in court as mitigation?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
It is generally better to be represented than not but there is cost in that and it is a question of balancing your priorities.
You could see if the duty solicitor will act for you. I would suspect not if your reading was only 68 but it is worth checking.
Personally though, if you were my client, I would not mention most of what you have said above. Almost all of it is aggravation rather than mitigation. It is really not good mitigation to say that you had a panic attack, took painkillers and then drank half a bottle of wine immediately before taking a decision to drive. That will rack up the sentence at least one sentencing bracket. If you add into the mix sleep deprivation which is now a specific aggravating feature you will make your sentence several times worse.
In relation to the miscarriage, there are mixed views upon that type of thing. If you get the wrong Bench they will think you are making excuses. I'm afraid a lot of women are very good at pretending to be victims and that tends to taint genuine points in mitigation for everybody else. I don't think I have ever had a female client who wasn't at some point in her life a victim of domestic abuse according to her. Some women do trott out that type of thing to gain sympathy. However, they may not take that view and I suppose you can back it up with medical evidence. My own personal view is that it too dangerous to mention but there are others who disagree with me who may be right.
With this type of situation, you are much better off saying very little. Less is more.
However, if you are going to say anything like the above then a solicitor would be a good idea. There is no point in mitigating if you what you are saying actually amounts to aggravation.
I am very sorry but I can only give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks i wasnt sure if it would make things worse or better. I appreciate it may sound like an excuse but it is genuinely not. I will more than likely lose my job due to this so just wanted to have some advice.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Lose of job is a much better point. That is something they can consider in mitigation to the extent that it means you will be punished financially.
I am not sure about the miscarriage issue. I can see the argument that it might be an explanation for why you would do something out of character. The truth is that it should be quite good mitigation in your particular situation and if female defendants were not always pretending to be victims it would be. Unfortunately what others do, have done and keep doing has an impact upon us all.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69773
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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