It's nothing new to hear about celebrity news and who caught doing what with whom, but some stories end up getting a lot more publicity than others. In the past few years, the former Disney star, Amanda Bynes has had quite a bit of legal troubles. Throughout this time, there were rumblings that she may be dealing with a mental condition that could be partly to blame for her run-ins with the law.
Recently, Bynes has agreed to a plea deal that would mark the end of most of her legal issues. Earlier this month, Bynes entered into a deal which would allow her to avoid jail time. She ended up pleading no contest to an alcohol-related reckless driving charge. In accordance with her plea, she received three years of probation and is required to attend alcohol education classes in California.
One of the more serious charges Bynes was facing, a DUI from 2012, was dropped. Throughout the last few months, Bynes was released from an inpatient psychiatric treatment center in Thousand Oaks and is living with her parents. After some of the more recent incidents, the court granted her parents a mental health conservatorship in order to help protect Bynes. She had been diagnosed with schizophrenia after a culmination of pretty bizarre events.
In addition to DUI, Bynes was also involved in two separate hit-and-run accidents that were dropped after civil settlements were reached with the injured parties. Further, she received a citation for driving without a license. She pleaded no contest to driving while on a suspended license and received three years of informal probation for that offense.
Along with probation and alcohol education classes, she will be expected to meet with a counselor a minimum of two times per week over the next six months. The counseling is required based on a plea deal stemming from incidents occurring in New York.
When charged with DUI or other alcohol-related offenses, it is important to work with legal professionals who understand the law and the area where the offense occurred. In addition, as with the Bynes case, mental conditions can sometimes play a role in an individual's actions and it is best to work with someone who can help to identify whether this is the case.
DUI, reckless driving, and driving without a license can all lead to serious and expensive consequences. For example, if you have been arrested and are currently facing charges related to a first offense DUI, you could incur the following penalties:
- Attendance at a 3-month, 30 hour alcohol education program;
- Immediate license suspension;
- Up to 6 months in jail;
- Approximately $2,000 in fines; and
- Installation of an ignition interlock device.
If you are facing DUI charges in Fresno or the surrounding areas, do not hesitate to contact my office and we can schedule a consultation. DUI charges can often times be complex and can cause you to become overwhelmed or confused about the law and the entire process. I have spent more than 25 years practicing DUI defense in the Fresno area and I would be happy to meet with you to discuss the facts of your case.