When you heard that your loved one had allegedly committed an armed robbery, you couldn’t believe it. It just didn’t seem like something they would do, right? If you or a loved one is facing jail time because of a crime committed while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you’re definitely not alone.

Too many people are negatively affected by the consequences of substance and alcohol abuse. One of the consequences could mean a devastating mark on your clean record if you don’t have the right West Palm Beach drug crimes attorney to help clear your name.

In this week’s blog post, we’re going to take a closer look at the correlation between drug and alcohol abuse and some of the crimes that can be committed because of them. More importantly, we’re also going to cover what an excellent criminal defense attorney can do to help.

Drugs And Alcohol Are Involved In Up To 80% Of Cases Ending In Incarceration!

Yup, you read that right. More than half of people that are sentenced to jail or imprisonment had a criminal case that involved drugs and/or alcohol. So, there’s no denying that there is a relevant relationship between the two.

It’s sad to say that our nation’s prison population has skyrocketed beyond capacity largely due to substance abuse. In fact, here are some interesting statistics to consider:

– 80% of criminal offenders abuse drugs or alcohol.

– Nearly 50% of jail and prison inmates are clinically addicted to either drugs or alcohol.

– Just over 60% of individuals arrested for most types of crimes have positive drug tests for illegal substances in their system.

Substance Abuse And Crimes

When contemplating the relationship between drugs and criminal activity, one may be reminded of the question, “Which comes first? The chicken or the egg?” This relationship can cause the same thought process because one may wonder do drugs actually catalyze criminal activity? Or are criminals more likely to abuse drugs already?

Of course, there are exceptions where a person who commits crimes may not ever use illegal drugs or vise versa, but there are an overwhelming amount of people that have intense addictions that commit crimes.

Studies have found that there are three common types of drug-related crimes. These are:

– Use-Related crimes: These are crimes committed by a person who has actually taken the drug. The drug alters their mindset, disables critical thinking skills, and can lead to irrational action resulting in an illegal act.

– Economic-Related crime: These are crimes where the defendant may have committed a crime in order to fund their drug habit. Typically, these types of crimes are either theft or prostitution.

– System-Related crime: These are crimes that result from the structure of the drug system. Typical system-related crimes include the production, the manufacture, the transportation, and/or the sale of drugs. Crimes could also be violent and directly related to the production or sale of drugs, like a turf war between dealers.

As mentioned above, some people may subject themselves to sexual abuse and illegal sex crimes to feed into their habit. Because of the dependency that drug abuse causes, many women and children can become caught in the judicial system unnecessarily.

However, when you rely on the help of a dependable criminal defense attorney, you can present the unfortunate circumstances correctly in court to clear your name through court-appointed rehabilitation rather than serving jail time.

Alcohol Abuse And Crimes

Although the negative effects of drinking are widely known, it is still a legal substance which means that there are many more people that can abuse it. Alcohol is closely correlated with many crimes and social issues because it directly alters the user’s mindset.

In fact, alcohol is a factor in 40% of all violent crimes today.  Even the Department of Justice has found that 37% of almost 2 million convicted offenders currently in jail have reported that they were under the influence of alcohol when arrested.

What’s even worse is that a large amount of the crimes committed while abusing alcohol are some of the most violent crimes, including rape, murder, and child/spousal abuse. Unfortunately, when these crimes take place, courts are typically not as lenient in recommending rehabilitation in lieu of jail time. Since the crimes are so malice, offenders face the harshest punishments including imprisonment and fines, depending on the state that the offender lives in.

Courts Support Treatment And Recovery When Appropriate

It’s unlikely that a court will show any leniency when a violent crime has taken place—even if the defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is especially true if a life was lost because of the careless acts that occurred from substance abuse. After all, there are families and loved ones that are on the other side that wish for justice to be served.

But, there are many cases where a defendant can appear to be remorseful of the crime committed and show a strong desire to kick the habit that may have catalyzed the entire crime—whether it’s drug or alcohol abuse. A defendant may be eligible for court-appointed rehabilitation if they qualify. Qualifying factors include:

– Proving that the crime was nonviolent.

– Proving that the crime committed took place solely because of the drug or alcohol use that was present at the time.

– Proving that the defendant shows a desire to get past their addiction.

– The defendant does qualify for a probationary sentence.

Trust A Criminal Defense Attorney To Fight For Your Right To Rehab

As you can imagine (especially if you or a loved one is currently dependent on a substance), it can be difficult to even try to adequately represent yourself in court. It’s not too much better to have a court-appointed attorney either, as they may not take your criminal case as seriously as an attorney that’s taken the time to know your case through and through.

Trusting a criminal defense attorney like one of the lawyers in our West Palm Beach law office could be the difference between serving several months or years in prison compared to a couple of months in rehab treatment. Call us today!