I was driving while having a serious panic attack,I rearened someone but was so disoriented i did not stop. I drove home and two citizens followed me while calling police, I went home took my ativan with one beer. 20 min later cops were at my apartment and wanted me to do field test, I refused cause I was not drinking at the time of driving and did not want all my neighbors who were outside to see. Now im convicted of middomeanor hit and run and dui. I have a public defender who has said there is not much she can do for me. How can I go to jail when I pay rent, am single and have all these foster animals. Im so scared and never been to jail. Any advice would help.
Your questions absolutely need to be discussed with your attorney. It sounds like you have only been accused of DUI and H+R so far. As such, you still have the right to present a defense at trial.
The defense of having consumed alcohol after driving typically can only be used during negotiations and/or trial. You should immediately compile a list of any witnesses and phone numbers of your treating physicians and anyone who may have seen you consume alcohol and Ativan after driving. This list needs to be given to your attorney or his/her investigator.
Also, remind your attorney your intent to use the defense of having consumed alcohol after driving needs to be disclosed to the prosecutor PRIOR to your Pretrial/Omnibus hearing (See RCW 46.61.502(3)). If not properly disclosed you will be precluded from using that defense.
Sounds like you need to have a long talk with your lawyer and make sure they understand your situation. Drinking after driving is a defense to DUI, but certainly doesn't help you with the hit and run. You may need some information from a doctor about your panic condition to demonstrate how what you did was not an intentional crime, but a legitimate medical issue.
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