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What role does addiction play in criminal charges?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2024 | Drug Charges

Drug and alcohol addiction is sometimes a contributing factor to criminal behavior. Being able to treat addiction decreases the likelihood of recidivism.

Individuals who are facing criminal charges and who are grappling with active addiction may benefit from programs, such as Drug Court, that the court offers under certain circumstances. Understanding the options that are available may make it easier for defendants to determine how best to proceed with their defense.

Addiction’s role in criminal behavior

Addiction can lead to criminal behavior in several direct ways. The need to fund a drug habit can drive individuals to commit crimes such as theft, burglary and selling illegal substances. The compulsive search for the next high often overrides moral and legal considerations, leading to a cycle of criminal activity and substance abuse.

Another consideration is that addiction can lead to impulsive behavior. This can lead to a person committing crimes because they aren’t thinking clearly when they’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Rehabilitation can benefit willing individuals

Addiction is a disease that can be treated, but the treatments require a willing participant. This opens up the possibility of Drug Court and similar measures providing court-supervised options for defendants to get help with their addiction so they can focus on making safer choices.

There are certain cases in which Drug Court and similar programs won’t be appropriate. Typically, participants in these programs can’t have any violent charges. They must also submit to random drug testing, go through substance abuse treatment and hold a job. Together, all these factors, along with the supervision, enable the person to ease into learning to live without any criminal behavior.

Defendants who are facing charges and also have an active addiction should learn about the possibility of Drug Court and other opportunities to determine if any are appropriate for their situation. Working with a legal representative who can explain these options and fight for whichever one that’s in a defendant’s best interests is generally beneficial in these cases.