Drug and Alcohol Evaluations | Phoenixville, PA | Chester County
According to NCADD over 50% of the current prison population will meet DSM-V criteria for substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder and is clinically addicted. We do not have a crime problem in our country we have an addiction problem. Crime is an unfortunate symptom or result of a life-destroying symptom. We need to focus on treating the cause of crime (addiction) with drug and alcohol treatment instead of treating a symptom of addiction(crime) with an ineffective solution(incarceration). Until our legal system changes for the better it is always in an individual’s best interest to receive drug and alcohol treatment to assist in their legal charges.
Common Legal Charges Related To Drug and Alcohol Addiction That Require Drug & Alcohol Evaluation
Here is a list of some common criminal charges in Pennsylvania that result from addiction:
· DUI/DWI – Driving under the influence, Driving while intoxicated. CRIMES CODE (18 PA.C.S.), JUDICIAL CODE (42 PA.C.S.) AND VEHICLE CODE (75 PA.C.S.) - IMPAIRMENT DUE TO ALCOHOL OR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION RECORDS AND INVESTIGATION BY POLICE OFFICERS. In 2003 Act 24 lowered Pennsylvania’s legal limit of alcohol from .10 to .08.
· Possession of Marijuana or Possession of other controlled substances (Heroin, Cocaine, LSD/Acid, Ecstasy/MDMA, Meth, Prescription Drugs including Vicodin, Oxycontin, Xanax, Klonopin, or Illegal Steroids)
· Possession of Drug Paraphernalia or selling/distributing drugs/manufacturing with intent to deliver
· Public Drunkenness
· Disorderly Conduct
Penalties and Sentences for drug and alcohol addiction related crimes
The penalties and sentences for the above-listed crimes can range from minor to severe. Unfortunately, addiction is not a defense criminal defense attorney’s can use to get the charges dropped. Fines range in size from $250 to $250,000.00 dollars. Misdemeanor or felony charges can result in significant jail time from 30 days to 30 years. If you are actively committing crimes to support your drug or alcohol addiction it is imperative that you seek treatment because it will only be a matter of time before you are caught. Once on probation or parole, an individual will be drug tested randomly. A failed drug or alcohol test can result in an immediate on the spot incarceration.
What to do when you have been charged with a crime due to your addiction?
Addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disorder. Individuals should not be punished for their addiction, however, they have to take responsibility for the symptoms of addiction which often includes crime, jail time, fines, and run-ins with the law. When in withdrawal an addicted person will do anything to not feel the horrible symptoms of withdrawal including breaking the law. One way to avoid this is to seek help immediately by entering an inpatient detox and rehab.
After being released on their own recognizance or being bailed out by family an individual should immediately seek a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation by an addiction professional to see where they stand. Nine times out of ten the courts will recommend this anyway so it is in the best interest of everyone to get it done very soon. A drug and alcohol evaluation is a thorough history of the patient's relationship with drugs and alcohol. It can also include family history, home environment, medical conditions, mental health issues, and previous treatment episodes. This comprehensive look into the addicted individual will give your criminal defense attorney an idea on what the best way to represent you. Once the evaluation has been completed the clinician or therapist who conducted it will make a recommendation for treatment. The treatment recommendations are dependent on the severity of the addiction and could range from outpatient and intensive outpatient to detox or inpatient drug & alcohol treatment. It is imperative that the offending person complete what is recommended. It is in the best interest to have treatment completed prior to being sentenced by a Judge. Judges will look more favorably on your case if you take ownership and initiative of your addiction problem which could result in leniency on the sentence and fines. A great criminal defense lawyer will be needed to have a favorable outcome.
If you need help finding a criminal defense attorney or need to schedule a drug & alcohol evaluation don’t hesitate to contact us at 610-233-4342 for suggestions.