Columbus Criminal Defense Attorney Brad Koffel has released a public statement on behalf of a Franklin County Judge who had been arrested by local authorities under suspicion she had been driving under the influence (DUI / OVI). In it, he calls attention to a concussion and other serious injuries suffered by his client prior to the events leading up to her arrest.
Monica Hawkins, a Domestic Relations / Juvenile Court Judge in Fairfield County Municipal Court, was arrested on the evening of January 31 in Pickerington, Ohio. According to authorities, local officers conducted the traffic stop after receiving a call from another motorist reporting a driver’s unusual behavior.
A police report and dash cam video from the incident indicate the responding Officer and a Sergeant called paramedics to examine Judge Hawkins due to a visibly “large knot” on her forehead. They also reported Ms. Hawkins refused medical attention, struggled to complete field sobriety tests, declined to provide a preliminary breath sample, and that officers were required to obtain a warrant for an involuntary blood draw.
On Wednesday February 6, 2019, Attorney Koffel released the following statement on behalf of Judge Hawkins:
“Monica Hawkins is recovering from multiple injuries sustained hours prior to her arrest from which she has no recollection. She suffered a serious concussion and has bruising on her face, head and torso. She has very little recall of the entire evening. We are still investigating the several unaccounted for hours leading up to her arrest.
The behavior exhibited on the video is bizarre and completely uncharacteristic of her 54 years of life. She is extremely grateful that the other motorist called for assistance and no other motorists were involved.”
Being that Ms. Hawkins is a public judiciary officer, the case has garnered ample media attention locally and nationwide, and will be featured on Good Morning America Friday, February 8th. As Attorney Koffel notes, Judge Hawkins’ unusual behavior and her serious injuries warrant further investigation into the circumstances leading up to this event.
Though criminal allegations and media attention may illicit immediate reactions, obtaining the facts, presenting one’s side of the story, and obtaining legal representation becomes critical to dealing with difficult situations – and are rights to which all Americans are entitled.