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Addicts charged with drug crimes need treatment, not jail

Ohio is one of the many states that have become battlegrounds in the war on opioid drug abuse.

Unfortunately, in their haste to try to control what has become an epidemic of opioid use, authorities often lose sight of the fact that many of the people they arrest are actually suffering from an addiction. Instead, addicts are being charged with drug trafficking and multiple counts of drug possession -- which means that they face increasingly long sentences if they're convicted.

Aggressive prosecution tactics can make it difficult for someone with a drug addiction problem to get the help that he or she needs to beat the addiction and address the underlying problems that may have caused it. A prison sentence isn't going to help an addict stop the addiction. It's just going to increase the stress the person is under and drive him or her deeper into addiction upon release.

A good legal defense against a drug charge needs to focus on several different areas of attack:

-- Finding weaknesses in the case against you, including problems with the probable cause used to initiate the search and seizure of the drugs.

-- Looking at the police work to see if there are errors in the chain of custody or entrapment issues that could help your defense.

-- Examining any witnesses against you for reliability issues, including things like testimony given while under the influence of drugs or testimony given in exchange for preferential treatment in their own criminal cases.

-- Working to convince the prosecution (or the judge, if the prosecution is unwilling to negotiate) that you are suffering from the disease of addiction and need treatment, not jail. Addiction is an important mitigating factor in any drug crime case.

If you're an addict who has been charged with a drug crime, seek immediate legal help. For more information on how our firm can help you fight a drug charge, please visit our webpage.

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