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Pleading guilty to a drug crime could worsen the underlying cause

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2022 | Drug Charges

Some people face drug charges because they wanted to make money. Whenever the government prohibits the sale or manufacture of certain items, there will always be an unregulated market where people sell such items at a substantial markup, resulting in risky but profitable opportunities.

Many others accused of violating drug laws are often in a difficult position because they have a substance abuse disorder. Addiction or chemical dependence on various substances is often why people possess drugs and commit secondary offenses, like theft, related to their addictions.

Pleading guilty to a pending drug offense or related crime might seem like cooperating with the courts and a way to secure a lesser sentence, but it can do more harm than good.

Incarceration often reinforces addiction

While you may believe that you can avoid incarceration by pleading guilty to a pending charge, that isn’t always the case. A first-time offender could avoid incarceration with the right judge, but there is no guarantee. The judge will have the final say in the penalties, although they must conform to state law. There could be a mandatory jail sentence imposed in repeat offense situations.

Many studies have found that the vast majority of people in state custody have a substance abuse disorder. For a large number of people in prison, their chemical dependence will only worsen while serving their sentence. The trauma caused by incarceration and the proliferation of certain substances in the prison community may lead to worsening addiction issues for those who plead guilty when accused of violating the law because of chemical dependence.

The drug courts could break the cycle

Some defendants accused of drug-related crimes may qualify for adjudication in the Maryland drug courts. There are numerous benefits to drug court proceedings, not the least of which is the possibility of eliminating incarceration risk.

Beyond that, the drug court process requires substance abuse treatment, which could help you actually resolve the underlying addiction that led to your arrest. If you successfully complete drug court, you will be able to move on with your life without a permanent criminal record.

Considering all of your options when facing allegations of criminal activity involving drugs will help you reduce the lasting consequences those accusations may cause.