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Police: woman hit 5 pedestrians, drunk driving charges filed

According to New York authorities, a 34-year-old Brooklyn woman had two suspended licenses when she drove erratically and crashed near Herald Square recently. She had a suspended driver's license and a suspended law license. She was arrested on a string of charges, including drunk driving, after she allegedly drove her Mustang convertible onto the sidewalk, hitting and injuring five pedestrians, and crashing into a storefront.

Authorities say the woman had a blood alcohol level of .185 on a Breathalyzer test after the crash. According to the alleged statement of one pedestrian, the car was "flying" when it came onto the sidewalk. The accused was also injured and is reportedly being treated at Bellevue for a broken pelvis.

The condition of each pedestrian was unclear, but at least one woman was in critical condition, according to authorities. Police charged the former immigration lawyer with drug possession due to a crack pipe being found in the vehicle. The defendant's law license had reportedly been suspended in 2011 due to alleged financial irregularities.

According to a New York Post article, the defendant engaged in a wild ride through midtown Manhattan, colliding with at least two other vehicles prior to jumping onto the sidewalk and crashing. As in any drunk driving case with injuries, defense counsel must investigate thoroughly to determine whether all charges are supported by sufficient evidence to convict. If the reported facts hold up to be largely true, however, counsel may decide that the client's best interest is served by vigorous, early plea bargaining.

With serious injuries to innocent victims, and an alleged life-threatening ride through a busy area of the city, the charges are beyond just drunk driving. The defendant faces a possible stiff term of imprisonment. Counsel will make sure that all potential defenses are presented, while at the same time exploring with prosecutors the best plea bargain to be obtained. With apparent prior mental health issues, she may be advised to enter therapeutic programs immediately, in order to show good faith at the time of sentencing.

Source: New York Post, "Accused Midtown drunk driver is an ex-immigration lawyer", Dana Sauchelli, Dec. 11, 2014

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