Addiction is a common issue throughout the United States and here in Maryland. There are plenty of people who struggle with alcohol addiction and many others who feel dependent on prescription medication or prohibited substances like methamphetamine. Some of the people who struggle with chemical dependence will eventually face criminal charges as a result.
Addiction has a close and complicated relationship with criminal matters. Federal researchers estimate that as many as 85% of the people involved in the criminal justice system as defendants or convicts have a substance abuse disorder. Simply going into state custody will do little to solve those issues, as the trauma of prison can worsen people’s substance abuse.
People may commit crimes either because of the impact of the drug on their life or because they are desperate for their next fix. Some people facing criminal charges in Maryland will recognize the link between their recent actions and their addiction. What options do you have if you believe addiction influenced your recent criminal activity?
Look into drug court proceedings
If you can convince the courts that your chemical dependence played a role in behaviors that led to your criminal charges and if the offenses themselves meet certain standards, you may be able to ask for adjudication in the drug courts instead of in the standard criminal courts.
The Maryland drug treatment courts focus on addressing the underlying issues that lead to criminal activity. A combination of treatment and drug testing can help people achieve sobriety. Provided that you complete all of the steps set by a judge overseeing your case, you may be able to move forward with your wife without a criminal record.
Accountability could help your case
Sometimes, acknowledging a substance abuse issue and seeking the appropriate help to address it can play a role in your defense strategy. Although voluntary intoxication typically will not be an option for a defense strategy, acknowledging a substance abuse disorder could still help your criminal defense strategy and make you more sympathetic to the jury or the judge presiding over your trial.
Connecting your criminal charges with a substance abuse disorder could potentially help you more effectively handle your charges and avoid similar issues in the future.