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Tennessee teacher charged with repeat DUI after odd behavior

If you were to drive to a courthouse for a hearing related to any criminal charge, you would hopefully do so in a legal manner, at least that is what a criminal defense attorney would advise a client to do. A Tennessee woman has made the news for reportedly violating what an attorney or common sense would tell her to do.

Authorities allege that the now former Campbell County educator got herself into more legal trouble before finalizing another legal situation before her. Now, the 56-year-old woman risks convictions for not just drug-related charges but a DUI charge as well.

At the end of September, officials charged the veteran special education teacher with public intoxication and drug possession related to prescription pills. She reportedly was working at a school while under the influence of prescription drugs.

According to a more recent criminal charge, authorities don't believe that the impairment stopped there. The defendant was arrested and charged with DUI right before she was supposed to have a hearing on the drug charge. Reports indicate that she was under the influence and crashed into a vehicle when trying to park at the courthouse.

This apparently isn't the defendant's first DUI. It is her second charge. A second DUI conviction in Tennessee is serious, as it would mean a minimum of 45 days in jail as well as a revoked license for two years.

As you can see, if the reports about the defendant are true, she is not in a great situation to convince a court that she isn't abusing substances. The behavior exhibited in this Tennessee case serves as a reminder that substance abuse, though illegal, is also a medical issue.

Though reducing charges and/or avoiding conviction are common goals in the criminal defense process, another priority can be helping a defendant through what might be a serious condition of addiction to alcohol and drugs. A DUI defense lawyer can work with an individual defendant to evaluate what is most important to his or her case and future.

Source: WATE, "Campbell Co. teacher arrested for DUI at court hearing," Oct. 7, 2013

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