Alcohol or Drug Addiction and Assaults: A Defense Lawyer | Attorney’s Prospective.
“It is hard to get enough of something that almost works.”
As criminal defense lawyers | attorneys who have dealt with a wide variety of assaults with clients who are also simultaneously struggling with drug or alcohol addiction issues, we have come to some conclusions. Based on an enormous amount of experience as criminal defense lawyers | attorneys and speaking with hundreds of clients who have found peace with their problems, we can comfortably say cases that involve addiction issues require that a person acknowledge a need for help and that they reach some sort of bottom before anything can really change. Sometimes an assault, violence or criminal charges are the final straw that makes this apparent, sometimes not.
Acknowledging a Need for Help
This process can be difficult as asking or acknowledging the need for help is difficult and initially can be perceived as an admission of weakness or loss of control. In fact, asking for help is the first step towards achieving real control by breaking the cycle of self-deceit that surrounds addiction. I’m in control is the ultimate lie of an addict. I don’t need help, accountability, care, relapse treatment, honesty, etc.. because, I’m in control. The problem is this is an emotional response, not logic. Addiction does not like logic.
Whether help comes from the consultation, support and input from a professional therapists or psychiatrists or comes from inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, family, friends, Alcoholics Anonymous, or Narcotics Anonymous or some other type of abstinence group, it is impossible to expect an individual to come to grips with addiction on their own, if the issue is really addiction. As criminal defense attorneys | lawyers who are in the trenches and have handled more addiction related cases than we can count, we know this is true.
The very nature of addiction requires self-deception as it requires repeating a behavior you know you should stop. Third parties are great to help as are support groups who eventually become new sober friends as one’s viewpoint changes. As criminal defense attorneys | lawyers, we have been part of cases where we helped 30 year alcoholics recover, we have seen heroin addicts recover, pill addicts recover. We have seen users of almost every kind of drug recover: all had decided a criminal charge or series of charges were the final straw. We have also people fail despite our best efforts. It appears that those who fail share a variety of these behaviors in common: they consistently go at it alone, forget they need support, isolate themselves, do not separate themselves from other friends who are addicts, start forgetting why they are sober, forget how they acted when they were not, marginalize their past behaviors, do not follow up with some sort of group/treatment, do not seek help when they relapse, see relapse as failure, put no effort into learning about addiction and do not try to help others who struggle with the same issues.
The idea of seeking help from others is why Harry Tiebout, seen by many as the godfather of Alcholics Anonymous and Gabor Mate, author of a very popular and readable book on addiction, called “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts”, recognize this. The decision to change is a highly personal one and is only within one’s own control. As such, we will ask questions but never push a point of view on a client: it’s disrespectful and counterproductive. The ability to stay the course requires you to make a personal decision and use the experiences of others and feedback from them to follow through with it one day at a time. As lawyers and counselors at law we help, but we know our place in the process.
We have clients who wish to deal with their addiction issues in a private setting and not be involved the public criminal system. We assist in this process. Short of breaking the law or violating our duties as officers of the court, we recognize our responsibility as defense lawyers | attorneys are to our clients. There are circumstances where this is not possible and will assist our clients in taking the necessary steps to get connected with reputable and effective professionals.
The decision of whether addiction plays a role in one’s life is a highly personal one. We do not force a point of view on clients, and we do not judge. We respect our clients’ decisions, as we truly believe each person must make a decision for himself or herself, so we only give advice and feedback when asked. That being said, when one is involved with the criminal system, it is clear something must change and judges seek stronger punishments of those who do not, so, we do ask questions. If you or a loved one is struggling with such a situation, be it the final straw or relapse, we are hired for and fight hard for those who are interested in helping themselves.
The lawyers in our office have dealt with a wide variety of cases involving addiction. Our lawyers know criminal cases are rarely as simple as the police reports claim and our clients hire us because they want staunch and effective counsel who knows how to navigate and use the criminal system. Our firm has a distinct combination of courtroom experience, skills knowledge and temperament. Consultations are free but a poor choice in counsel is not. The first step is an appointment.