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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Should my son plead guilty? Going to Crown Court soon. Automaton.

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Should my son plead guilty?
Going to Crown Court soon.
Automaton. Specialist has diagnosed parasomnia. Previously episodes of sleepwalking.
Alcohol was involved, not to excess. Over limit. However no recollection of driving at all.
Extremely upsetting and stressful.
The options are grim.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What is the charge?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The charge is wreckless driving. Nobody injured, 75mph max on a 9 mile M-way journey. No damage except to own car, driving on rims, sparks flying. Journey ended on top if a small r/bout when son ran home, still unaware.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Its dangerous driving AND drink driving. See previous response.

You have to take into account that I haven't had full vision of the papers. However, automatism is a very difficult defence to run.
It usually covers situations where person has no control over their movements - like bumping into somebody when they themselves are pushed or sleep walking.
When a person starts to take positive actions such as driving or driving in a dangerous manner it gets hard to argue automatism.
Further, I cannot imagine how it could cover drink driving.
It is a medical issue ultimately. If he has sound medical evidence then that is something he can rely upon.
Then there is the hurdle of getting a jury to accept those facts anyway.
It really turns on the facts of the case. However, if you are saying he was drink driving and he left the seen of a collision then it is going to be difficult to argue automatism.
I'm very sorry but that is the reality.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He has expert witness, a sleep specialist doc who diagnosed parasomnia and agrees the whole episode is feasible.

He didn't exactly leave scene of collision as he didn't crash, just stopped, admittedly on top of a smallish roundabout, then ran home, oblivious.

Then he drank wine. The alcohol he consumed earlier pte driving was 1 pt, 2 g&t and a glass or 2 of Champagne. It is debatable whether that would have taken him over limit as he was driving around 4am and had had drinks around 11pm.

This may or may not have taken him over drink limit, we will never know.

How can they prove he was over limit taking these facts into consideration?

Barrister mentioning sane and insane, different outcomes, even though he is not insane the judge could still go that way, its an archaic law.

They will probably do a BAC calculation.
Given that he left a vehicle abandoned on a roundabout I'm afraid the inference is fairly strong as well.
I'm not sure how criminal insanity applies. There is no suggestion he did not understand the actions he took. The argument seems to be that he did not have control of his bodily functions.
Although I don't know whether or not the report says that his condition amounts to defect of the mind?
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