Category Archives: Drug Crimes

How You Could Be Punished for Operating a Grow House

grow house operation

A grow house is a property used to cultivate various types of plants, most notably marijuana plants. Grow houses are legal in the state of Florida to an extent. Individuals may apply for a growing license that permits no more than six flowering plants or 12 vegetative plants under Florida law. Should you be found with even just one more plants than the stated limit you could wind up in jail. Should you be found with any number of these plants and not in possession of a growing license you could also wind up in custody for illegally operating a grow house.

Cultivating and the Law

Florida law, Section 893.13, defines cultivation as possessing or manufacturing cannabis with an intent to manufacture the drug. The same law defines manufacturing as the “production, preparation, packaging, labeling, relabeling, propagation, compounding, cultivating, growing, conversion or processing of a controlled substance, either directly or indirectly.”

The Penalties for Illegal Grow Houses

grow operation house

If you are discovered to be operating an illegal grow house in Florida you will face a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony comes with no more than five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. There are circumstances that could warrant a second-degree felony charge, which would result in up to 15 years in prison and a fine of no more than $10,000. A circumstance that could lead to a second-degree felony charge is one in which the defendant was found to be running a grow house that had more than 25 plants in it. A first-degree felony can be levied if minor children are found to be living in the grow house.

Defenses to Cultivation Charges

Should you find yourself charged with cultivating marijuana in an illegal grow house it’s important to know the available defenses to such charges. The first defense you could attempt is medical necessity. This is a limited defense allowed under Florida law for those who have a necessity for the drug that helps them avoid additional harm.

Another common defense is that your Fourth Amendment rights were violated, which means an illegal search and seizure of your property was conducted by law enforcement. When using this defense you will need to show that not only was there no search warrant provided, but there was no probable cause for the search either.

You could also claim that you were unaware of the cannabis plants being grown in your home or place of residence. Many use this defense when they truly did not know what was happening in another room of the house, especially if they live with multiple people with whom they might not have a close relationship.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

Were you arrested for and charged with illegally operating a grow house in Fort Lauderdale, FL due to lack of a cultivation license? It’s important that you protect your rights by contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call the office of Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. today at 954-641-8129 to schedule a consultation about your case.

When Child Abuse Is Also a Drug Crime

drug crime

Drug use is an issue that affects thousands of people in the Fort Lauderdale area every year. The opioid epidemic continues to grow all over the country. Many drug users face problems with work, school, the ability to pay bills, the ability to care for their family and more. Child abuse is another serious issue that plagues dozens of families throughout the Fort Lauderdale area each year. There are times when child abuse is also considered a drug crime and vice versa. We will take a look at these circumstances in today’s post.

Operating an Illegal Grow House

Grow houses are illegal in Florida unless you have a license to cultivate marijuana. If you are licensed, you are limited to six flowering plants or 12 vegetation plants. It’s possible that if you are found with one above the limit you could be arrested. Child abuse can also be a drug crime when you are found to be running an illegal grow house with children under the age of 18 in the house. You will face felony charges that could land you in prison for 15 years or more.

Drug Abuse and Pregnancy

It is possible for women to be charged with child abuse and drug crimes if they use drugs while pregnant. Some of the most common charges in these cases, according to The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law include the following:

drug crime child abuse
  • Child endangerment
  • Child abuse
  • Drug delivery
  • Attempted aggravated child abuse
  • Chemical endangerment of a child
  • Child neglect
  • Mistreatment of a child
  • Homicide
  • Manslaughter
  • Reckless injury to a child

The drugs that were involved in these cases included marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and prescription pills.

Commission of a Drug Crime with a Minor Present

Committing a drug crime in Fort Lauderdale with a minor present is a serious offense. Whether the crime involves purchasing drugs, selling drugs, transporting drugs, manufacturing drugs or using banned substances, you are putting yourself at risk of not only facing criminal charges but also losing your child to the state. Another crime involving child abuse is that of using your child as a drug mule or someone who transports drugs from one location to another.

What Can an Attorney Do for Me?

If you are facing a drug or child abuse charge you will want to call an attorney immediately. An attorney can help with the following:

  • Review and provide an honest evaluation of your case
  • Explain the charges levied against you
  • Investigate the incident that led to your arrest
  • Obtain police reports and review evidence
  • Secure expert witnesses
  • Explain how to handle yourself in court
  • Help you prepare for sentencing

Call to Schedule an Appointment with an Attorney

Were you charged with child abuse and a drug crime in Fort Lauderdale, FL? Do you have questions about how you can get your children back? You need to protect your rights when facing these charges immediately. Call the office of Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. today at 954-641-8129 to schedule an appointment to discuss your call with an experienced drug crime attorney.

Florida Drug Testing Laws: What Employers Can and Can’t Do

florida drug testing laws for employees

Searching for employment can be daunting. You might have to go on multiple interviews with multiple companies before finally receiving an offer. Once you accept the offer you then have to go through the company’s onboarding process, which more than likely includes drug screening. Many employers in Florida put their prospective and current employees through drug testing before signing a contract. There is a drug-free workplace program in effect in Florida that provides employers with discounts on workers’ compensation insurance premiums. Employers must follow certain rules and regulations within this program in order to receive discounts on said insurance coverage.

Florida Drug Testing Laws and Job Applicants

When it comes to drug testing Florida job applicants, a workplace that has the drug-free program will need to drug test any applicant that has received a conditional offer of employment with the employer. If the applicant is required to take a drug test by the employer, the employer must mention drug testing in any job announcement or other job advertisements to the public.

Drug Testing and Florida Employees

florida drug testing laws

If you are already employed by a company in Florida that takes part in the drug-free workplace program offered by the state, your employer can and is required to test employees under any of the following circumstances:

  • As a portion of a regular medical exam that determines your fitness-for-duty.
  • If the employer has a reasonable suspicion that you are using drugs (this includes reports of you using drugs, paranoia, abnormal behavior, severe change in attitude).
  • After you return to the job for rehabilitation following a prior positive drug test. Testing does not have to be performed if the employee entered into rehab voluntarily.
  • Employers are also allowed to conduct random drug testing of employees under Florida law.

Rights for Florida Employees

Employees of companies in Florida are to be given written notice of their employer’s drug policy and they must have 60 days’ notice. If an employee should ever test positive for drug use, he or she has five days to contest the results of the test or explain what happened. Employers are not allowed to take any action against an employee until the positive test has been confirmed with a subsequent test and reviewed by a medical review officer. If an employee voluntarily enters into treatment, he or she cannot be disciplined or fired unless they failed a prior drug test or had undergone prior treatment.

If an employee is taking prescription medication it is possible that he or she could fail a drug test. The employer cannot legally discipline or fire an employee who has failed a drug test due to prescription medication so long as the employee can provide the prescription and it was prescribed for a disability, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Contact a South Florida Attorney

Were you wrongfully disciplined at work because of a failed drug test? Contact Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale at 954-462-1005 today to schedule a consultation.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia: The Penalties

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Is possession of paraphernalia a felony in Florida? Simply put, yes. Florida is a state that is strict regarding drug laws. The possession of drug paraphernalia is closely monitored in Florida, and some statutes outlaw many drug-related activities in this state.

What is drug paraphernalia, and what can be considered such? Florida laws are particular regarding this topic. The statute, in fact, outlines and clearly defines what the illegal items are.

Possession of Drug ParaphernaliaThings to Know About the Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Florida

There are a few things to note about the Florida statute regarding drug paraphernalia possession. Here are 5 significant items in the law.

1. What is drug paraphernalia?

The term “drug paraphernalia” is very broad. In a nutshell, anything that a person can use to propagate, plant, produce, manufacture, harvest, package, ingest, inhale, contain, store, or use any controlled substance into the body can be considered drug paraphernalia.

Some typical examples include syringes, containers, clips, pipes, and many more. Basically, anything that is drug-related can be considered drug paraphernalia under Florida law.

2. The possession of drug paraphernalia is illegal in Florida

Use of any drug paraphernalia, or possession with intent to use, is illegal in Florida. This also includes the use and introduction of any illegal or controlled substance into the body.

There are cases when something that is legal, like tobacco, was used by the person being charged with drug use and possession. In these cases, a drug test on the person can prove innocence. Make sure you consult with a knowledgeable drug lawyer if there is any dispute on this end, or for other common defenses to prove innocence.

3. Manufacture, selling, and advertisement of drug paraphernalia is also illegal

Aside from the use and possession of drug paraphernalia, the manufacture, selling and advertisement of these items are also illegal. The distribution of these items to minors is also a chargeable offense according to Florida law.

4. You don’t have to have the drug paraphernalia on you to be charged

The drug paraphernalia does not have to be on the actual person for him to be charged. If law enforcement finds drug paraphernalia on properties that you have control over, like your car or home, then you can also be charged with the possession of drug paraphernalia. A common defense that many drug lawyers use for these cases includes disputing knowledge of the drug paraphernalia.

5. You can be jailed if convicted of possession

The common penalty is a misdemeanor of the first degree. The worst cases can result in jail time. Drug lawyers often reduce these to probation and drug treatment, however.

Have You Been Charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia? Contact a Drug Lawyer in Florida ASAP.

If you are in need of a drug lawyer in Florida, make sure you contact us at the Law Offices of Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A.  We are experienced in handling these types of cases, and we will make sure that you get the best defense possible. Call us today for a free consultation at (954) 462-1005.

 

Doctor Shopping: Definition and Penalties

Doctor Shopping: Definition and Penalties

The drug issues that have long plagued the Sunshine State are often more complex than you may think, especially with regards to the ongoing opioid crisis. As lawmakers work to seal any loopholes they discover, people tend to get creative in finding new ways to abuse current systems. “Doctor shopping” is just one example of this, but an infamous one that requires legal action. Here is some more information on doctor shopping, including the definition and penalties.

What is Doctor Shopping?

Florida Statutes 893.13(7)(a)8. is known as the “doctor shopping statute,” and it states that it is illegal to:

“Withhold information from a practitioner from whom the person seeks to obtain a controlled substance of a prescription for a controlled substance that the person making the request has received a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance of that practitioner, a pharmacist, or a supplier of prescription forms who is authorized by that practitioner to possess those forms.”

To put this more simply, doctor shopping is the practice of receiving multiple prescriptions from different doctors for the same type of drug. This deceit allows individuals to rack-up more prescription medicines, which they can then abuse or sell. It is, as a result, connected to the opioid crisis: pushers exploit this lack of accountability to find and sell more drugs, and some people with a painkiller addiction even try this to get their fix.

The above statute makes it illegal to hide or lie about recent prescriptions when trying to get another one from a medical practitioner. Nowadays, the system for filling prescriptions no longer begins and ends with medical practitioners asking for a name. Through the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, patient information is now cross-referenced in a database. This database informs doctors, pharmacists, and police officers when someone receives a prescription for the same or a similar substance within an unauthorized period of time.

Penalties

According to Statute 893.13(7)(d), violating the law against doctor shopping is considered a third-degree felony. This puts the crime on the same level, in the eyes of the legal system, as other types of drug-related fraud, including applying “any false or forged label” to packages containing controlled substances and providing false information on prescription-related documents.

Under Florida law, anyone convicted of this charge may find themselves facing as much as $5,000 in fines and as many as five years in prison. The opioid crisis has hit the state of Florida hard, and the legislature considers the many cases of abuse that contributed to the problems within its borders to be of great importance. As a result, the penalties for committing any of these abuses can be both steep and serious. Doctor shopping is no exception.

 

If you ever find yourself facing charges of doctor shopping, you need to have a skilled attorney by your side. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A., today for a free consultation at (954) 462-1005 and you can get in touch with experienced Florida drug lawyers who can assist you in navigating the legal system of the Sunshine State.

How Your License Can be Suspended and How to Reinstate It

DUI Suspended License Florida

Nearly two million registered drivers in Florida have suspended driver’s licenses. Many of those people are not aware that they are taking a gamble each time they get behind the wheel. Even a small traffic infraction could land them in jail.  Often, Florida driver’s licenses are suspended for reasons that have nothing to do with driving.

Why Your Florida License Could Be Suspended

According to the Sun-Sentinel, more than half a million drivers with a suspended license in fiscal 2017 had no driving offenses. So why were there licenses suspended? They found that the leading causes were failing to pay child support and not paying court fees and fines.

Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) says a driver’s license will be suspended for up to a year for a driving violation that is not DUI-related and results in serious bodily injury or death. If a driver accumulates too many points for traffic violations, their license may also be suspended, depending on the number of points and the time frame. For example, a driver with 12 points in 12 months faces a 30-day suspension, whereas one who racks up 24 points within 36 months can lead to a one-year suspension.

A suspension can also result from fraudulently obtaining a driver’s license. But people can be barred from driving for many other reasons, including:

  • Not attending traffic school
  • Missing a court date
  • Writing a bounced check
  • Missing a car insurance payment

Drivers under the age of 18 may also have their license suspended for tobacco and alcohol possession, having a gun, sexting, truancy, and vandalism, among other things.

How to Get a Suspended License Reinstated

Suspended driver’s license reinstatement is necessary in Florida to continue driving legally. Having a Florida driver’s license restored requires a few steps. Those steps vary depending on the infraction or crime.

Drivers must pay close attention to the reinstatement requirements listed on their suspension notice. The FLHSMV will include detailed information about the length of your suspension, as well as what you must do to have your driving rights restored. The process typically requires that you:

  • Pay a traffic fine
  • Pay the suspended driver’s license reinstatement fee
  • Pay other applicable driver-related fees, depending on the reason for the suspension
  • Enroll in a DMV-approved traffic course
  • Fulfill the suspension period
  • Complete a drug and alcohol course
  • Serve a probation period
  • Serve any necessary jail sentence

Some drivers may need to buy FR44 insurance for up to three years. FR44 insurance is mandatory for Florida drivers with serious suspensions, such as those related to driving under the influence or being a Habitual Traffic Offender.

Fees to Reinstate a Florida Driver’s License

To have your Florida driver’s license restored, you will likely have to pay fees to the Department of Motor Vehicles. These fees vary but may include:

  • Revocation fee: $75
  • Suspension fee: $45
  • Additional fee for not paying child support: $60
  • Additional fee for unpaid traffic tickets: $60
  • Additional administrative fee for a drug- or alcohol-related offense: $130

Legal Help

If your license is suspended because of a DUI case, it is critical that you receive legal help as soon as possible. Having experienced Broward County criminal lawyers on your side can make a difference. Trust Michael A. Gottlieb to take your case and fight on your behalf. Contact us today at 954-462-1005 for a free consultation.

Opioid Laws In South Florida That You Need To Know About

opioid laws in south florida

Opioid-related overdoses caused 42,429 deaths in 2016 alone. About 40% of these opioid deaths – about 17,087 –  were by the misuse of prescription opioids. It’s important to be aware of opioid laws, especially in a place where the opioid epidemic is running rampant, such as South Florida. There was a 35 percent increase in deaths by opioids from 2016, and there were 5,725 deaths in South Florida because of them. Here’s our guide to the opioid laws in South Florida that you need to know about.

HB21 – Bill on Prescription Limits for Opioids

In March 2018, the Florida legislature passed a bill that instituted prescription limits on opioids, as well as increasing funding for treatment by $53.5 million dollars. HB 21 places a three-day limit on prescribed opioids for anyone who has acute pain, unless they meet the requirements needed for anyone who needs a seven-day supply.

This bill made Florida the 25th state since 2016 that has passed legislation that creates various restrictions on various opioid prescriptions. Among the most common drugs found in people’s systems were benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Klonopin, on top of opioids such as Oxycontin. The bill was officially put into place on July 1.

Florida House Bill 477 – Fentanyl Law

In this tough fentanyl law, which was passed in July 2017, judges are bound by law to give mandatory minimum prison sentences to people who are caught with fentanyl and carfentanil. Anyone in possession of four grams will serve a minimum of three years in jail; being caught with 14 grams will mean 15 years; and if one is found with 28 grams, that can be up to a minimum of 25 years behind bars.

Further, the bill gives prosecutors the power to charge any fentanyl dealers with homicide if they sell a fatal dose of the drug. This comes after news that occurrences of fentanyl increased by 80 percent in 2016 in all opioid-related deaths, and deaths caused by fentanyl skyrocketed by 97 percent. According to the Florida Medical Examiners Commission, synthetic opioids among the likes of fentanyl and carfentanil were responsible for the deaths of over 850 people in the first six months of 2016, making them responsible for more deaths other drugs.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program – PDMP

Florida legislature responded to the pill mill epidemic in 2009 by creating the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). With this law, pharmacists and dispensing practitioners were required to report various kinds of information to the database every time they dispensed a controlled substance within seven days of doing so. Despite this, the law didn’t need them to check the database prior to giving out a controlled substance.

 

Being aware and cognizant of opioid laws in South Florida and the impact of the opioid epidemic currently going on in the United States is crucial. If you or a loved one has been involved in an opioid-related crime, contact a Broward Criminal Lawyer you know you can trust.

Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. is an experienced, bold and aggressive attorney. If you have any questions about opioid laws in Florida or are concerned about a lawsuit involving it, call us for a free consultation at (954) 641-8129.

Can I Avoid Jail By Going to Drug Rehab?

Drug Rehab

The United States criminal justice system holds more than 2.3 million people. Of those 2.3  million people, 208,000 people are in prison on a drug conviction. Fortunately, the justice system is compliant with non-violent drug offenders and does allow you to avoid jail by going to drug rehab. Although rules differ with each case and the jurisdiction, it’s more than likely you can avoid prison through compromise.

Here is everything you need to know about avoiding jail time by going to drug rehab:

Drug Addiction & Crime

Addicts, whether it be illegal drugs, prescription medications, or even alcohol, often take part in a non-violent crime. Non-violent crimes can be petty theft or even drug trafficking. For addicts who are under the influence or fighting addiction, they are out of character and participate in crimes they most likely wouldn’t have if they weren’t addicts. Drugs affect the way we make decisions, therefore, addicts tend to take part in non-violent crimes.

Get Treatment, Avoid Jail

There are a few ways the court goes about convicting non-violent drug offenders. Unfortunately, approximately 25 percent of prisoners are almost all non-violent and lower-level offenders. It’s true that most of these prisoners would be better off in treatment programs, serving the community or completing probation. There has been an overwhelming amount of press around this topic. The judicial system has taken notice and there are many people who have compromised with treatment in order to avoid prison time.

Am I Eligible for Treatment?

The answer differs from case to case. Consult with an experienced criminal lawyer to discuss your eligibility for avoiding jail by going to drug rehab. Depending on the jurisdiction, there are a few determining factors.

First of all, this needs to be your first or possibly second offense. You must not have a history of violence or sexual assault. Secondly, you are a non-violent offender. Your drug addiction had to contribute to the crime you committed. Whether you were under the influence of a drug or arrested on a drugs crime, the drugs must contribute to the crime.

If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, opting for treatment instead of jail time is also an option. Ultimately, the offender must be willing to commit to any course of treatment that the court assigns.

Drug Rehab Effectiveness

Of the 20 million Americans abusing drugs, there are only about 2 million people seeking and receiving treatment for their addiction. As we discussed, those who are addicted to drugs are often involved in criminal activity. Each offender is different, therefore, prison or jail time is not always the best course of action. Instead of locking more people up in mass incarceration and allowing the drug and jail cycle to continue, ordering mandatory drug rehab can be more effective in saving lives and decreasing the financial burden of funding prisons in our economy.

Avoiding jail by going to drug rehab is possible, and has proven to be more beneficial to the social and judicial system of America. If you or a loved one has been involved in a drug-related crime, contact a Broward Criminal Lawyer you can trust. Michael A. Gottlieb is experienced, bold, and aggressive. Begin the process of entering drug rehab in lieu of jail time with a free consultation. (954) 641-8129

“Drive Baked, Get Busted”: Florida DUI Laws

Drive Baked, Get Busted

Drive Baked, Get Busted: Florida DUI Laws

When you hear the term DUI, you probably assume that it means driving while drunk. While that is true, it really means driving under the influence of any controlled substance. Including marijuana. Although Florida’s stance on marijuana has evolved, DUI laws are still strict and driving under the influence of any substance can land you behind bars.

DUI charges are serious and have lasting consequences. If you find yourself in that situation then you’ll want to contact a DUI lawyer right away.

Implied Consent

There needs to be reasonable suspicion in order for law enforcement to pull you over. After observing your driving behavior, the officer can pull you over and then begin looking for the tell-tale signs of driving under the influence of marijuana.

Florida has an implied consent law which states that if you’re pulled over by an officer who has reasonable suspicion to believe that you’ve been driving under the influence of a controlled substance like marijuana, then you are required to take a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine for drugs. You have the right to refuse the test, but failure to comply will result in a one-year suspension of your driver’s license. If this is not your first time refusing the test, then your license will be suspended for eighteen months.

Penalties

In 2017 there were over 43,000 DUI tickets issued and over 24,000 convictions in Florida. Broward County had one of the highest DUI violations in Florida, with a rate of 3,104.

In the event that you’re pulled over, arrested, and found guilty of driving while under the influence of marijuana, you may be subject to the following penalties:

  • First offense: fine up to $1000, jail time of up to 6 months, license suspension between 180 days and 1 year, 50 hours of community service, and vehicle impoundment for 10 days
  • Second offense: fine up to $2000, jail time of up to 9 months, license suspension between 180 days and 1 year, mandatory probation, psychosocial evaluation, 50 hours of community service, and vehicle impoundment for 10 days
  • Third offense*: fine up to $5000, jail time of up to 1 year, license suspension of 1 year, mandatory probation, 50 hours of community service, and vehicle impoundment for 90 days

*If the third offense occurs within ten years of the second offense, then the DUI is charged as a felony. Jail time is up to 5 years and license suspension lasts for 10 years. Community service, probation, and psychosocial evaluation is same as listed above. Any additional offenses accrue more intense penalties.

Legal Help

If you’re involved in a DUI case it’s crucial that you get legal help as soon as possible. So if you find yourself in a DUI-related lawsuit, you need Broward’s best criminal lawyers on your side to fight for your rights. No matter the situation, our attorneys are ready to create the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today at (954) 462-1005 for a free consultation.

Dealing with Drug Crime Offenders: Incarceration or Rehabilitation?

Incarceration or Rehabilitation for Drug Crime Offenders?

Incarceration or rehabilitation? This is the debate that citizens and policymakers alike have been increasingly grappling with in recent years. National attitudes turning against the harshness of “War on Drugs” policies as the country’s prison population continues to swell, and people are looking for alternatives to long sentences for minor offenders. The drug crime defense attorneys at Broward Criminal Lawyer believe that the legal system should lean towards rehabilitation with substance abuse issues instead of simply locking them away. Here are our reasons why.

Rehabilitation Costs Taxpayers Less

To begin from a purely practical standpoint, every prisoner in the American penal system must be fed and cared for, which costs taxpayers money. It stands to reason that more taxpayer money has to go towards this when there are more prisoners, and that is only further multiplied depending on how long prisoners must stay behind bars.

That makes it all the more troubling that according to a 2018 analysis of census data by the Prison Policy Initiative, the United States has the highest population of incarcerated people per capita on the planet. More than 2.3 million residents are currently detained. In addition to this being a distinction that many are not proud to hold, this is a severe strain on taxpayers.

Thankfully, there is a healthy way to lower the prison population, and it rests in another statistic: about a fifth of all prisoners in the US are behind bars for drug offenses. Many of these people have convictions for possession, which is less serious than trafficking or violent drug-related offenses. Moreover, an overwhelmingly large number of them have not even been convicted; they are under “pre-trial detention.” Rehabilitation can help to lower these numbers.

Rehabilitation Prevents Reincarceration

It can be argued that court-ordered rehabilitation may not be much of a financial improvement over incarceration because this would also cost taxpayers money. However, it could actually save them – and the penal system – plenty of money in the long run because rehabilitation prevents people from being incarcerated again in the future.

The catch about drugs is that they can be a factor in crimes beyond possession, distribution, and manufacturing. Some addicts commit crimes because of their dependence – for example, robbing someone at gunpoint to purchase more drugs. If that person is sentenced to imprisonment for the mugging but not treated for the substance abuse problem that caused them to commit that crime, then they are likely to return to prison later on.

When someone commits a crime while in the throes of addiction, rehabilitation is needed more than anything. Drug addiction is a disease, one that predates on people and pushes them to act in ways they would not behave otherwise. While it is true that consuming these illegal substances begins as a choice, it eventually devolves into a psychological and biological need that can prove much more difficult to break than simply wanting to stop. The ability to really choose disappears at some point, which is when addiction takes hold and rehabilitation is most needed.

The main issue is that the legal system – on the local, state, and national level – have long treated and continue to treat all drug abuse not as a disease but as a vice, one carried out exclusively with malevolent intentions and one that must, therefore, be stamped out. A 2012 study found that half of all state prisoners have issues with addiction, but only a tenth of them actually receive help. This method does not address the root of the problem – it merely punishes people for the symptoms.

Broward Criminal Lawyer Fights For Rehabilitation

In light of all this, it is getting increasingly difficult to justify incarceration as the best option, let alone the only feasible option. Instead of immediately swerving toward that option, the legal system should be more inclined to assess people for signs of dependency and refer them to rehab for court-ordered treatment. In our view, this is not only the most practical solution to a variety of problems with the prison system but the most humane way to act with regard to those who are afflicted with addiction issues. Choosing rehabilitation over incarceration can only serve to improve society.

 

People caught and convicted of drug offenses would almost certainly prefer to be welcomed at treatment centers than to be locked behind bars. The experienced drug crime attorneys at Michael A. Gottlieb Broward Criminal Lawyers fight for people’s rights to receive help for their problems instead of confinement. When it comes to the question of incarceration or rehabilitation, we will always choose to fight for court-ordered treatment over life-ruining punishment. Get in touch with us today at (954) 462-1005.