When you need rehab and not jail: Managing your defense with addiction in mind

| Dec 29, 2020 | OUI |

It’s proven that many alcoholics and drug addicts will only seek detox and rehab when they bottom out and face severe criminal consequences for their addictions. It makes perfect sense. Why would you quit drinking or drugging if all is well in your life?

You wouldn’t, of course, because you could see no reason to make changes. But then you were arrested for OUI or possession or sales of controlled substances. Suddenly, rehab is starting to look like it might just be your best option

But can you sell the idea of rehab instead of jail to the court?

That is definitely something that your attorney can try to arrange, either as part of a plea bargain with the prosecution before you are adjudicated or as part of a sentencing agreement with the court.

However, not all cases will merit rehab versus jail time. Few, if any, violent offenders will be offered such leeway by the Massachusetts criminal courts. Even if this most recent arrest was for a nonviolent offense, if you have a criminal record for crimes of violence, that alone could disqualify you for a rehab plea bargain or sentence.

If you truly want to show the court that you understand the role your substance abuse plays in your criminal behavior, seek outpatient assistance with your drug or alcohol program. Start attending AA or NA meetings. Get a sponsor. Be proactive about your recovery if you want the court to take your efforts seriously.

Talk to your attorney about your defense options

Your ticket to rehab might not depend on a guilty plea or conviction. Ask your attorney to help you find a rehab that will accept you into their program regardless of the adjudication of the criminal case against you. You may still be able to beat the charges and get the help you so obviously need with your substance abuse issues.