Attorney: Judge arrested for OVI suffered concussion before traffic stop

Judge Monica Hawkins.jpg
Franklin County Domestic Relations & Juvenile Court Judge Monica Hawkins (Courtesy: Franklin County Court of Common Pleas)

A Franklin County judge who was arrested on OVI charges on January 31st was reportedly suffering from a concussion, and had bruises and other injuries at the time, according to her lawyer.

Monica Hawkins' attorney Brad Koffel released a statement on her behalf Thursday, saying she's "recovering from multiple injuries sustained hours prior to her arrest" and doesn't remember much of the evening. The Franklin County Domestic Relations & Juvenile Court was arrested in Pickerington after a traffic stop. Police say she was stopped after another driver called and reported a car swerving on Route 256.

Dashcam video of the stop shows Hawkins having trouble walking, talking and keeping her balance during a field sobriety test. The video also shows officers asking several times before the field sobriety test about a bruise on her forehead, with Hawkins declining medical care.

Koffel said in his statement:

“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.”

Judge Hawkins was elected to her first judicial term in November, and began serving in January. She is due to answer the OVI charge in Fairfield County Municipal Court on February 14th.