Whenever a famous person or a public figure here in Florida beats a DUI charge, many people assume that the person got off easy because of his or her status and connections. A number of people have recently jumped to such conclusions about Kerry Kennedy, who has been found not guilty of drugged driving. As a member of the storied Kennedy family, many have said that she was treated like American royalty in the case.
Kennedy had been arrested in July after she was found asleep at the wheel. She had previously been seen by witnesses who reported that she was swerving. She also sideswiped a semi-truck.
She admitted to authorities that she took a sleeping pill by accident before getting behind the wheel. She said that she meant to take her thyroid medication, which is safe to take before driving.
After a four-day trial, a jury recently found her not guilty.
Kennedy has now spoken out and said that she does not believe her name helped her clear herself of the accusations. Instead, she says, her access to skilled criminal defense attorneys as well as the facts that she is innocent and was willing to go to trial are the reasons why she won the case.
She has explained that many people plea guilty to DUI charges because they do not understand their rights and because they do not have competent legal counsel. Others, she said, cannot afford to fight charges at trial because it is a time-consuming process that typically requires time off work.
The Kennedy case is a good reminder of how important it is for Florida residents to seek legal counsel when facing a drunk driving charge. It is critical for individuals to understand their rights and options in the criminal justice system.
Source: TODAY, “Kerry Kennedy: People saying I banked on family name in court are ‘wrong’,” Eun Kyung Kim, March 3, 2014