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Jury agrees: Kennedy's impairment was mistake, not criminal

What are some of your daily routines? If you are like many other Tennessee residents, you probably wake up, have breakfast, take your vitamins, medications and a shower. It sounds like it is no different for even high-profile public figure Kerry Kennedy.

Kennedy says she takes medication for her thyroid. She apparently also takes sleeping medication sometimes. Her everyday routine went awry last year, when she claims she took her sleeping medicine instead of her thyroid prescription before driving. That mistake almost cost her a DUI drugs conviction. Almost.

Last July, authorities pulled over Kennedy, the niece of JFK, after she drove erratically. The investigation into the incident resulted in a DUI arrest and the aggressive fight against a DUI drugs charge that followed.

Last week, a jury found Kennedy not guilty of driving under the influence. Kennedy and her criminal defense lawyers call the outcome justice. They believe that the jurors believed in the innocence behind the medication mistake. They do not believe that the Kennedy name secured a not guilty verdict.

Kennedy is taking her notoriety following her DUI case and using it to address what she thinks is a problem with the criminal justice system. Though she doesn't think that her name won her a legal victory, she does recognize how her wealth allowed her to push to trial and hire the best attorneys. She believes more defendants should have the opportunity to plead not guilty to false impaired or drunk driving charges instead of agreeing to plea deals due to cost limitations.

Someone who has been charged with drunk or drugged driving has various legal options in Tennessee. An experienced DUI defense lawyer can explain the options and help protect a person's best interests.

Source: ABC News, "Kerry Kennedy 'Incredibly Grateful' for Not Guilty Verdict," Colleen Curry, Feb. 28, 2014

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