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Depression/Feelings after your first crime?


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I am twenty years old and to put this story short (haven't gone to court yet), I pretty much got charged with a DUI and may be a felony. I am innocent as of right now, but I have never done anything against the law in my life before.


I honestly don't want to do anything, and I don't want to keep my lifestyle the same.


I run every other day, focus on school, and I organize my time around a planner. I eat healthy and rarely drink alcohol (maybe 2-3 times a year). Since this has happened and I spent a night in jail (traumatized because I'm the only one in my family to go to jail), I can't do anything. I can't exercise because I feel like I'm a crappy person and should just sit in a corner feeling bad for myself. This is very odd for me, as I am usually an optimist and encourage others. The thing is, I can't talk to anyone who isn't in my immediate family to protect myself until court is over. I have no friends to talk to at all.


I am planning to go to med school in 2-3 years, and if I have a felony or a DUI on my record they can see it (background check). This little mistake (no one was hurt thankfully) might seriously cost me a huge chunk of my future. As a result my potential is going down. I went out and ate fast food today, I haven't exercised for the last 1-2 days since I was in jail, and I can't do anything productive. I feel worthless. I haven't slept for more than 2-3 hours a day since this has happened.


My family is helping me out with the legal system and things are getting figured out, so it isn't like I'm unaware of what needs to be done. My mental health, motivation, and potential are dropping at an alarming rate.


What do I do? :sad:

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What was your BAC?


I got an impaired driving at 18 and went through such crazy emotional turmoil after. I would wake up in a cold sweat due to nightmares of seeing the flashing lights in the rear-view mirror. Ugh.


I didn't have or want a lawyer. I plead guilty. The judge sentenced me to 60hrs of community service and 6 months probation and would have it expunged completely under the terms that I wouldn't get in trouble again for 5 years. This June marks 5 for me and it's already off my general record (if an employer were to look). It went on as a misdemeanor offense.

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Everyone is bound to do something wrong in their lives. I know I've done my fair share of stupid things; no, I haven't been to jail, but I know that with my actions I will have to accept the responsibility if it comes down to that. But honestly, what's done is done. I know right now it feels as if everything is off. Once you accept that you cannot change what is in the past, I think you will feel more relieved. But think about it; what person hasn't been pulled over for a speeding ticket, been caught "vandalizing" a car even just as a prank, or something to that degree? No one is perfect, and even though this one mistake MAY go on your record (which is to be determined by the courts), you can't let it rule your entire life. Do you have a close friend that you can talk to about this? If you're feeling depressed or struggling to get through everyday tasks, it might be something you need to talk to a professional about.

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I've been charged with possession of marijuana

been charged with supplying alcohol to a minor ( worked in gas station )


when i got charged with supplying alcohol to a minor, it made me feel like crap. gas stations give you good hours. safe to say ill never be able to work in one again.


i was charged with having 5 grams of marijuana. wasn't a big deal at time cause i was only 15. had to pay a fine and do community service.


almost had gun charges on my hands before.


my point. dont feel bad about what you did. learn from it and move on from there. we all make mistakes man. thats life.

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My BAC was 9%. They never saw me driving and technically they can't prove if I was or wasn't intoxicated while driving. I hit a parked car near my home, and my alarm went off. My car is totaled and someone called about the car alarm noise as my father was disconnecting the battery to stop it at 4 AM in the morning. The cops pulled up and I was drunk admitted to the wreck. They only charged me for a DUI on the report and nothing else. The officer said he felt that was enough considering I was having panic attacks before I was put in jail and when I first talked to them at the scene. The car I ran into isn't to be found, and there is no debris found in the area of where it happened. The only thing missing from my car is the front license plate... This is why it could be considered "hit and run" and that is a felony. The police are mandated reporters and didn't say anything about that on the report. I am going to plead not guilty and settle for reckless driving if I can. There is no proof to say that I was or wasn't drinking when the accident occurred. All that was seen was that I was intoxicated when they showed up 10-15 minutes after wards.


I really can't get through each day. It is brutally painful. I'm going to lose my car, my insurance, and after I manage to repair my car and sell it. I'm going to be without a license for at least 3 months. I am taking responsibility for what I have done, but I am a responsible person. These things don't happen to me because I make good decisions in life. I work with mentally disabled individuals, I volunteer, I'm going to school to earn an M.D. (eventually), and I am overall a good person. This one bad decision is going to cost me more than the past 10 years of good I've done with my time/effort.


I don't know how to function. I constantly walk over to where the accident took place and just stand there. There is nothing there, and no one reported anything to the police about their vehicle being damaged.


Edit: If I do get a DUI, felony, or whatever - I can't even begin to imagine how to function/feel. I don't think I will be able to maintain a sane lifestyle. It's like within the past 24 hours, my dreams are slowly being pulled away from me.


@Atticus90, I understand your experiences as I have friends that have been in similar dilemmas. The main reason this is difficult for me to embrace is because my entire life has been built around going to medical school to become a neurosurgeon. My ENTIRE life... This incident may be a permanent dent.

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I got selling wine to a minor (worked in a gas station) and it was a emotional roller coaster for me. I was so nervous the day of court I was shaking, and was physically ill. I had never been pulled over by a cop for gods sake!


All you can do is prepare yourself for the worst. If that doesn't happen, it won't look as bad. I don't think it will stop you from getting you md. Might make finding a job hard but not impossible.

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I got selling wine to a minor (worked in a gas station) and it was a emotional roller coaster for me. I was so nervous the day of court I was shaking, and was physically ill. I had never been pulled over by a cop for gods sake!


All you can do is prepare yourself for the worst. If that doesn't happen, it won't look as bad. I don't think it will stop you from getting you md. Might make finding a job hard but not impossible.

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Ok, first, do you have a lawyer... you NEED a lawyer when anything is a potential felony. Family members who are not lawyers are not sufficient.


Second, you have to be REALLY careful about 'altering' events to try to make it seem like you were innocent when you weren't. You were drunk, and you hit a parked car because of it.


Judges are extremely experienced at all the 'stories' people can tell to try to get out of things, and if they sense you are lying, they can and do throw the book at people.


Trying to find some 'out' to say you weren't drunk could really backfire on you. So you do need a lawyer to decide what is the best approach to take.


In many cases, if you are very young and admit that you did a stupid thing and panicked when you hit the other car and took off, and show you understand your wrongdoing and were stupid and know it, the judge will take your youth into consideration and reduce the charges. but if you go in there lying about what happened (as in 'they can't prove i was drunk' so i wasn't drunk) when your drinking caused the accident, the judge may impose a more serious penalty to try to snap you out of your attitude that you should be allowed to break the law and get away with it if you lie your way out of it.


A lawyer with experience in pleading DUIs is your best bet, as they know the best ways to do things.

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btw, you are not 'innocent as of right now'... you DID drink and drive and you DID hit someone else's car and you DID leave the scene of an accident. Don't minimize your wrongdoing here.


You are a 'good person' when you take responsibility for your actions and make them right, not a 'good person' if you lie to escape something. You may have a better chance of escaping a felony charge if you face that reality and have your lawyer work with that, rather than try to lie your way out of a charge against you.


I would seriously be terrified to have you as my doctor if you have this attitude, say you inject a person with the wrong drug, then try to get out of responsibility later by claiming it wasn't you that injected the person but some nurse.


You need to grow up here and recognize that you did something wrong, and you need to address it. If you handle this correctly (with a lawyer), it may have no impact on you at all, as they may plead it down to a misdemeanor or expunge your record. But if the judge thinks you're lying, anything could happen.

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The positives are that you got a lawyer and family by your side to help. Even if you get charged with a felony you could try to get it expunged from your record since it's the first offense. Don't let something like this get in the way of med school or any career goals! Sure this was a little bump in the road but even if you have a felony that doesn't mean that you are doomed. Please, continue to go to med school! No one is perfect and even if it stays on your record that doesn't automatically mean you won't get a good job one day. There are many oppurunities still waiting for you around the corner.


I'm sorry to hear about your loss of motivation due to this. It can be sucky but if you choose to change your perspective and think positively you may be able to pick yourself back up and start running and eating good again. Sometimes we need a little push and gotta push ourselves a little to get back into the swing of things. It doesn't do any good to sit around and punish yourself even more. Plus, getting back into the things you love may lift your spirits some and help shift your focus onto the positive.

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I'm not trying to minimize anything, and my initial statements at the time (I will admit I was drunk when the police arrived) concluded the truth.


However, do you think it is fair to just accept this DUI charge and plead guilty? I shouldn't even fight it or reduce it to reckless driving? Also, I don't think there will be a felony as the police were informed by me of where the accident happened and I even described the other vehicle for them. No one has filed a complaint against me for a 'hit and run'. The police are also mandated reporters and didn't report this on my paperwork. The only thing stated was a DUI. The police officer dealing with me even said he felt that should be enough as he was clearly feeling sympathetic for me (I was having panic attacks during their arrival and paperwork). I refused bond continuously for the first 12 hours of being in jail because I felt like I deserved to sit in jail until my court hearing. After awhile I realized I can't waste my time in here and it is not productive.


I would like to point out that today I did manage to go running, and I have continued my diet today as well. I am just trying to keep busy so that I don't spend my entire day thinking about what happened.


Also, you think I would deny malpractice in a professional manner? That is not right at all. Don't assume that I would do this as a medical professional. My dreams/goals are oriented around helping other people in a medical fashion. Do you also think that every M.D. is perfect? As warmpandacola said, no one is perfect. I guarantee every M.D. or doctor you have had has made some type of mistake in the past. Whether it was caught or not is up for contemplation. This isn't just directed at one person either, the entire stereotype that someone who is well educated and is a M.D. is a perfect person that upholds a well-liked lifestyle is getting old. As a doctor, I would put my patients first in any matter. Remember, my life is about helping others and not cheating my way out of every situation.

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You need to do what your lawyer tells you to do. If you get an experienced lawyer, they will know the best way to manage this.


No, i don't think that every doctor is perfect, but i do know that I would never lie to a judge to try to get a charge reduced. That is the issue, your comments about being 'innocent' when you were DUI and then talking about 'no one saw it' and 'the only thing missing was my license plate'... Just because someone doesn't see it and you didn't intend harm doesn't mean that a crime wasn't committed, it was.


It's a question of integrity, and if a person turns their health and body over to a physician, the doctor needs to apply the highest moral standards to themselves or they can do harm to other people. For example, a doctor who treats a patient after drinking could commit serious errors. Same with operating a vehicle when under the influence. You need to accept responsibilty, and make it right if you did harm. And above all, you need to recognize that it was very wrong to drive when drinking, and that doesn't seem your concern here, only your worry about your own future. Were you agitated because you caused an accident and harmed another person's property, or because you got caught and it might affect your future? This really comes accross as the latter, that you are only thinking about your future and worried about that and not 'getting' how serious a DUI is and how seriously dangerous driving while drinking is.


And saying you want to 'help others' when you're willing to drive drunk just doesn't line up. What if there had been a child you didn't see, or a person and you sideswiped and killed them instead of totalling your car? Again, it isn't a question of me or anyone else thinking doctors need to be perfect, but an expectation that the doctor will have good enough judgment not to do things like drink and drive, and good enough character to recognize they shouldn't lie to themselves, authorities, or patients or anyone for that matter. If you can't trust someone, you don't want to turn your health over to that person.


So it is not a question of any expectation that doctors are perfect, it is a question of you recognizing that you did a crime, a serious crime as DUI and DWI and hit and runs are, and you are worried more about escaping the charge than recognizing the seriousness of your actions. and the implication that lying your way out of it shows a lack of character that one would hope a physician would have since they take an oath to do no harm. You did a lot of harm mashing in someone else's car, driving drunk, and trying to get away with it as if you were innocent.


I would get a good lawyer, and try to plea bargain it down to something less consequential. The things in your favor are your age and this was a DUI vs. a DWI. They may well just give you probation and clear your record. You can have your lawyer specifically try to go for any bargain that will clear your record, even if it means higher fines or more community service or longer probation. That is what they do when they plea bargain, try to get the best deal they can for you, and you could tell the lawyer what you really want more than anything is your record expunged after a few years so that it doesn't affect your record.


re: malpractice insurance, the things that work against you are that insurance cos. don't want to insure anyone who shows any sign of impaired judgment or something that might lead you to do something that would cause a lawsuit against you and the insurance company. A doctor with bad judgment or one who might practice drunk is definitely something they would watch for. So a DUI is not a good thing and could possibly raise your rates or make some companies refuse to cover you, BUT given your age and that it will be 10 years past by the time you need any insurance, they may not weigh it too heavily in their decision.


So your best bet to protect your future is to follow your lawyer's advice and try to get your record expunged. Perhaps they would plead innocence, but given your BAC was .09, you would have a hard time with that, especially if the judge thinks you're lying or don't grasp the seriousness of your behavior and this incident.


I'm not trying to make you feel bad, i'm trying to help you understand how a judge would look at this. Listen to your lawyer, and get a good one. Depending on where you live, DUIs/DWIs are taken very seriously since drunk drivers have the potential to kill people later if the judge gives you a light sentence, and the next time you do this you run over someone rather than hitting a parked car. So the judge wants to see you understand the seriousness of this crime before he is willing to let you walk free and expunge your record. His duty is to protect the public, and someone who blows off a DUI and hit and run as no big deal is just not getting that.


And if you're a doctor and your job is to protect your patients, you'd better learn this lesson well. It's a question of good judgment and morality, and recognize the serious harm you could do other people by your actions and choices.

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It seems normal to me that a person would feel badly for at least a few days following a mistake that, had things gone slightly differently, could have easily resulted in something much more serious than what you are facing. It gives you a chance to re-evaluate what is important to you and hopefully learn some important lesson.


And just maybe, it'll make you an even more compassionate doctor down the road. Someone one day you may meet as a neurosurgeon - maybe a family member of a child who was hit by a drunk driver, or who knows...and you'll remember this incident in your life and just how easy it is to be an overall decent sort of person; and yet in the blink of an eye choose one bad choice that seriously impacts lives or even costs a life.


It seems very apt given your dream to learn early and fast how serious drunk driving is; even when it seems like everyone else is getting away with it, there are concequences.


good luck

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@ itsallgrand


Thank you for the kind words and advice. I hope that my experiences outside of the professional world will make me a better M.D.


@ lavenderdove


I was a little skeptical when I began reading your last reply. However, you made critical points which I have taken advantage of or overlooked. Just take this into consideration though. Am I really out of the norm or lacking character to attempt to reduce my charges or eliminate them? Is it not the intelligent thing to do in this case? I have gotten a lawyer and he is very good in situations such as this. I have been consoled by him and others with experiences in this field of court. They all agree that I should not just accept the charge, but fight it and do whatever it takes to prevent this from affecting my future.


I have already dealt with the insurance, and they are not dropping me. In fact they are covering the entire cost and giving me additional money, which won't affect my insurance greatly.


I would also like to add that in the pursuit in this court case, I have drifted off my path of learning a lesson. I'm not going to read through my previous posts to see if I said this, but I had at least two panic attacks during the 1-2 hours following the accident. Keep in mind alcohol is a depressant, but I know what a panic attack is since I have seldom had them in the past. I think the best thing I can do right now is to fight this in court, and learn my lesson (like you said this is the most important). I am truly traumatized from even going to jail for the first time, getting mug shots taken, having my finger prints taken, etc. This could of been SOOO much worse than it is and I am very lucky that I did not harm myself and especially someone else. I didn't even damage someone else property.


I may have been vague and seemed as if I didn't learn anything from this. Although, I am one to learn from my lessons. You know I still can't drive a vehicle without having major anxiety? I honestly don't trust myself driving and try to avoid it. I think it may take awhile to rebuild my self confidence and motivation in life. I feel terrible, and as I write this I am reliving the entire experience...

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I didn't read all the posts here. However, learn from your mistakes. Regardless of the outcome - stay squeaky clean for the next several years before you apply to med school. Show that this one time mistake was just a big run of bad luck AND bad judgment on your part. People make mistakes. Everyone knows this. Even doctors (or doctor-to-be's).


Might be risky. However, say you're sitting in a med school interview 3 years from now. They ask you "What was or is your biggest failure?"... this DUI sound like a pretty good example to me - but before you pull out this example ensure you have a rock solid "learning experience" too... otherwise, it could hurt more than help. Right now is when you're learning - take stock of all your emotions and keep on trucking. You'll be fine.

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I didn't even damage someone else property.

I wouldn't be too sure about that. If your vehicle was literally a write-off, then I have no doubt at all that the other vehicle would have some damage to it. It would almost be impossible NOT to have any damage to it if your's ended up being a write-off (imo).

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