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New York fans hear actress Bynes unfit for drunk driving trial

Troubled actress Amanda Bynes may have been in a psychiatric ward since July 2013, but in late September, her trial proceeded without her. She was scheduled to appear in court on charges of driving while intoxicated in April 2012, but a lawyer for the former child star told the judge that she was mentally unfit to stand trial on the criminal counts. She was under long-term psychiatric treatment under a conservatorship at the time of the hearing.

Bynes' lawyer said that his client lacked the mental capacity to understand the nature of the legal proceedings in West Hollywood. The case was then transferred to mental health court, where a judge will conduct a hearing to determine what mental competency the 27-year-old has to stand trial. She remained held at the UCLA Medical Center.

A hoax earlier in 2013 had fans and authorities scratching their heads over how a psychiatric patient in a mental facility could possibly be sending tweets to the outside world. It turned out that her account had been hacked, according to her lawyer, and she had not been the one who sent a Twitter message reading, "I love Drake." The media may have been quick to believe she was the tweeter since she had expressed affection for Drake in 140-character messages before and also had infamously tweeted to President Barack Obama after being taken into custody for DUI.

Assistance after being charged with a crime like driving while intoxicated in New Jersey might be more effectively sought by contacting a lawyer experienced in DWI defense rather than tweeting to the President. An attorney may help those accused of drunk driving to negotiate with the court for lesser DWI charges and penalties.

Source: NY Daily News, "Amanda Bynes misses court, deemed mentally unfit to stand trial for DUI arrest, says lawyer ", Zaydra Rivera , September 24, 2013

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Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.