Can drug and alcohol treatment help my criminal case?
It is not uncommon for many crimes to be influenced and/or motivated by an individual's underlying drug or alcohol addiction. In many cases, had the person sought help for their substance abuse issues, they never would have been driven to commit the crime they committed in the first place. However, as you will learn, seeking treatment even after you are charged with a crime can likely improve the outcome of the case tremendously.
What types of treatment are out there?
Generally, when it comes to drug or alcohol treatment there are two main categories:
Outpatient treatment - generally considered to be less invasive in a person’s day to day life. Outpatient programs allow the individual to continue to reside where they live while attending a local treatment center 9 to 12 hours per week and can last up to 6 months depending on the program. At the local treatment center, the individual is usually with other participants in the program and each session is lead by a counselor or therapist who helps the participants address their underlying issues and gives them information and help regarding their addiction. This type of treatment is generally more beneficial for someone who has less severe addiction problems.
While less intensive, successfully completing an outpatient program will be very beneficial for an individual if they are unable to fight their case at trial. If the person is facing a potential guilty plea, a letter of completion from an outpatient program may dramatically reduce the penalties for the crime(s) they are being charged with.
Inpatient treatment - this type of treatment is considered to be much more intensive than outpatient treatment. This type of treatment requires that the individual remain at a treatment facility for usually a minimum of 28 days. While at the facility the individual will have daily therapy sessions of various types. Some types of treatment involve one-on-one counseling or group therapy. In the United States, there are a multitude of inpatient treatment facilities and not all operate in the same form or fashion. However, succesfully completing inpatient treatment tends to carry more weight in the eyes of the Court than outpatient treatment due to its level of care. Moreover, courts in Pennsylvania have often allowed the time in inpatient treatment to be credited towards jail time meaning that an individual who would otherwise be facing time in jail might be able to serve most or all of their time at the treatment facility (which in most cases is a much more pleasant environment than prison).
A quick word about these treatments
We cannot stress enough the importance of discussing these options with your attorney, doctors, and family members before making a decision. Remember not all individuals require treatment and going into these programs just to gain favor with the Courts, may backfire if you do not take the programs seriously or you decided to no longer attend. At our firm we have suggested to many of our clients that they should consider entering into treatment but the decision always rests with the client.
Who can I contact regarding drug-related offenses?
At The Town Law, we understand just how stressful facing criminal charges can be. With our vast experience handling criminal cases throughout Bucks County, Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania, we are well-equipped to ensure you get the best result possible with attentive attorneys by your side throughout the process. Contact our firm today for a free consultation. Our staff of experienced attorneys is dedicated to the best outcomes for all of our clients.