People commit crimes. Many times the offender is under the influence of drugs, alcohol or has a substance addiction problem that contributes to their behavior, in which case the medical condition should be documented and taken into account if a legal issue should arise. When drugs are used, there is documented physical, psychological and mood changing properties that affect the way a person can think, behave and make decisions. These are not only associated with illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Narcotic prescription medications and alcohol can cause the same effects. While all of this does not give the offender a ticket out of the criminal actions, but it does raise the question of which would be the best way to handle the case.
Jail time and fines can be effective punishment, but they don’t address the cause for the drug or alcohol use. In many cases the best and most effective way to handle the offender is a rehabilitation program. As a criminal defense attorney, I take into account the offenders desire to get the help needed. This is most important – if a person with an addiction really wants to recover, he will. It has been a controversial topic. There are some that believe that rehab is not effective if the offender is forced into it. There are many who simply can’t keep the regiment of meetings, regular drug testing, and monitoring which leads to failure.
Do to the over population of jails rising from drug-related non-violent crimes, and an expanding understanding that jail time really does not help to rehabilitate drug addiction. Many states are now letting people with non-violent drug related offenses go through long term inpatient drug rehabilitation instead of time spent in jail or prison.
The Bottom Line: Non-violent offenders can be sent to rehab instead of jail under the new overhaul of Ohio’s criminal sentencing laws. Prisons are overcrowding and it will save Ohio money. As a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Ohio, I know that spending time in prison is one of the most frightening things and I will do everything in my power to put together the best sentencing option for your unique situation. Call me anytime: 513-260-2099