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Is Drug Addiction a Valid Defense for Drug Crimes in Connecticut?

Posted on in Drug Charges

Fairfield County Drug Crimes AttorneyAccording to national statistics, there are more than two million people who are incarcerated in the United States. Many of those who are being held are in the criminal justice system because of substance abuse issues. In fact, according to FBI statistics, the majority of arrests are for some type of drug abuse violations, and one out of five people are being held for drug-related crimes.

Crime and Addiction

The statistics on drug addiction and its link to criminal offenses are overwhelming. In a report by the U.S. Bureau of Justice, it is estimated that more than 20 percent of all people who are being held in prisons and jails are there because the committed crimes in their attempt to get drugs. This comes to approximately a half million people who are incarcerated because of their drug addictions.

Mental Illness Defense

Drug addiction or dependency is a recognized mental illness that leads to a change in the addicted person’s brain, causing a shift in the normal prioritization of needs and desires. Not only is the addict in risk of dying from a possible overdose, but – as the above statistics show – they risk facing criminal charges and incarceration in their quest to obtain these substances.

Some of the common crimes drug addicts are charged with include:

  • Drug possession

  • Drug possession with intent to sell and distribute

  • Driving under the influence

  • Larceny

  • Armed robbery

  • Assault

  • Battery

  • Proving a Drug Addiction

There are several ways an attorney can prove to the court that the defendant is struggling with addiction and it is that addiction that drove them to commit the crime. The attorney may call the defendant’s family and friends to testify, as well as expert witnesses, to try to prove drug dependency.

This can often be a critical step in getting the charges reduced and/or reducing the range of criminal penalties that would otherwise apply. The court could consider a different sentence for the defendant than sending them to prison, such as sending them to court-ordered drug rehabilitation.

Contact a Fairfield County Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a drug offense, call Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a dedicated Stamford, CT drug crimes attorney. If you are struggling with a drug addiction that contributed to any criminal offense you are accused of, this addiction may be deemed as mitigating circumstances by the court.

Sources:

https://bjs.ojp.gov/content/pub/pdf/dudaspji0709.pdf

https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie2022.html