There is a strong correlation between addiction and criminal activity. Those with substance abuse problems could wind up in trouble with the law for many reasons. Once convicted, those people face incarceration, which could traumatize them, as could the difficulty they face trying to live with a criminal record.
The very substances they use might be illegal. Having possession of those items or trying to buy them might lead to an arrest. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol might also lead to an arrest. Some people will commit other crimes while under the influence of their substance of choice or in order to fund their addiction.
Policies that criminalize addiction have done little to reduce drug abuse. The courts have started to look to other ways to address this growing social issue. When you find yourself facing criminal charges directly related to your current addiction struggles, going through the criminal courts may not be the only option for you. You might qualify for drug court adjudication instead.
How are the drug courts different from Louisiana’s criminal courts?
After a conviction in the standard criminal court, you will have a permanent criminal record and could face incarceration. The main focus of the sentencing process after a conviction is punishment.
The drug courts focus on rehabilitation for those with an addiction, not just punishment for those who break the rules. If your situation qualifies to go through the drug courts, you can potentially avoid a criminal record and criminal incarceration.
Although inpatient rehabilitation services may be necessary, if you complete the ordered treatment, community service and other requirements of your drug court order, you can avoid criminal proceedings and the consequences that come with them.
Your arrest could be an opportunity to get your life back on track
Going to prison and living with a criminal record could mean a bleak future. On the other hand, going through the drug courts might mean getting the treatment and support you need to achieve sobriety and avoid future criminal issues.
Discussing your situation with someone experienced with the drug court system can give you an idea about the best way to approach your defense when facing addiction-related charges.