There are a variety of drugs available for people to use for different reasons—some good and some bad. Pharmaceutical drugs that have passed a health and safety inspection can be used to help people overcome illnesses and cope with pain.
However, there are other drugs available that are humanmade with different chemicals, which can put people’s lives at risk. Not to mention, these mixtures of abstract chemicals can lead people to act out of what is considered the “normal mind,” make irrational decisions, and even lead to a strong addiction, which inevitably results in crime. Simply using these unregulated, dangerous drugs is a crime as they are not legal to start with!
We are going to explore a variety of ways that crime and drugs tend to go hand in hand. Also, we are going to cover how with the help of a criminal defense attorney, you may be able to untangle yourself from the sticky web of the criminal justice system if you happen to be facing drug-related charges.
Violent Crimes Vs. Non-Violent Crimes
Typically, there are three types of crimes that take place when drugs are involved.
- Crimes defined by drug possession or sales.
- Crimes directly related to drug abuse, for example, prostitution for drug funding.
- Crimes related to a lifestyle that predisposes the drug abuser to engage in illegal activity, for example, through association with other offenders.
Unfortunately, these crimes tend to be more violent than not. In fact, drug abuse results in a large number of murder cases, rape cases, and other threatening, abusive situations. Although the most effective route to recovery and rehabilitation would be treated with counseling through a supportive rehab center, these violent crimes leave the court in a sticky situation as they have cause harm to other people.
It’s difficult to try to convince the court that a defendant should not have to serve time for his or her offense when violence took place. If the charges are for a non-violent crime, there are higher chances of the court considering court-appointed rehabilitation.
Can Defendants Facing Drug-Related Crimes Get Court-Appointed Rehab?
As mentioned earlier, chances are slimmer that a court will show any leniency or understanding when a violent crime has taken place. This still stands when the crime has involved drugs and alcohol.
However, there are many cases where a defendant shows the court signs that they may be able to receive treatment to correct their behavior. Typically if a defendant is remorseful, shows a desire to want to change or recover from their drug addiction, and is eligible for rehabilitation, the court may consider it.
It is important to have an excellent criminal defense attorney on your side to present facts to the court that support these ideals along with having the defendant’s family testify that court-appointed rehab is the best decision. These are some of the factors that your attorney will work to prove to the court:
- That the defendant suffers from a documented drug addiction.
- That the defendant’s addiction influenced the actions that led to the crime.
- That the defendant has a desire to participate in treatment and successfully overcome their addition.
- The defendant has no prior offenses, or in some instances, if this is only the second offense.
- The crime was non-violent.
- The defendant has no history of either violent or sexual-related offenses or charges in the past.
Types of Drug-Related Crimes That May Allow For Court-Appointed Rehabilitation
We briefly mentioned that there are typically three different types of crimes that are related to illegal substances. This is how the court views them and their ability to actually benefit from court-appointed rehabilitation:
- Use-Related crimes: These are crimes committed by a person who uses the illegal substance. Typically this can result in a crime committed while the person isn’t in their normal, rational mindset.
- Economic-Related crime: These are crimes committed to solely fund their drug habit. These crimes typically result in either theft, robbery, or even prostitution of mainly women and children.
- System-Related crime: These are crimes that result from the structure of the drug system. So, manufacturing, possession, etc. are common charges that can lead to arrest.
Which of these “categories” does the court usually consider rehabilitation for? Each type of drug-related crime is different. Although these “categories” are put in place to understand why the crime took place, each case is different, and there is no one way to generalize sentencing.
There is a strong correlation between use-related crimes and violence, which may deter the court from considering rehabilitation as a fair and just sentence rather than time served. Of course, this all depends on the facts of the case and the judge.
Economic-related crimes are more likely to result in court-appointed rehabilitation. It is not difficult to prove that the defendant acted out of desperation from an addictive habit. Again, the crime must be non-violent, but typically these crimes are not as violent as use-related crimes or even system-related crimes.
System-related crimes are difficult to predict because there are so many facts to consider about the case. These crimes are related to how drugs are dispersed, sold, and manufactured. The charges could be as a simple possession, but range from theft to murder from a drug-related turf war.
You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney to Represent You
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges because of a drug-related crime for the first or even the second time, one of our qualified criminal defense lawyers can help you get your life back on track.
Time served just is not always the right way to correct criminal behavior, especially when drug-abuse is involved. Let our team of skilled attorneys fight for your right to addiction recovery with effective court-appointed rehabilitation rather than jail time or imprisonment.
The team of lawyers at The Law Offices of Hutchinson and Huffman are here for you and your family throughout the case to provide proper legal advice. Our office would be happy to point you in the right direction to the road to recovery!