The word “addiction” can mean many things to many people. In general terms, it refers to excessive physical or psychological dependence. Most people think of addiction in terms of drugs and alcohol; however this is a limited definition of the term. People can be addicted to anything – gambling, pornography, physical fitness, eating, sex, spending money, gardening, etc.
Addiction becomes a problem when it is excessive and unhealthy. Often, these types of addictions lead to criminal charges.
Society, for the most part, expects people with addictions to “just stop it.” People who have never had an addiction or been exposed to one think that it’s a conscious decision to maintain an addiction and, therefore, they think it is a conscious decision to be able to quit. Anyone with an addiction knows it’s not that easy and it does not happen over night.
At Sumpter & Gonzalez, we are working really hard to understand addiction. We believe that there are underlying issues which lead to addiction, whether it is mental health challenges (including past traumas), biological predispositions, unhealthy peer or family relationships, or some other factor in the person’s life. We feel that addiction should be treated more like an illness and less like a crime.
No one wins when the criminal justice system is responsible for treating addictions. Dockets, jails, prisons and probation/parole caseloads are overflowing from people who have addictions which have not been properly treated and there is no end in sight.
Recovery from an addiction is very possible; however, criminal records are nearly impossible to recover from.
If you or someone you love has an addiction that has led to criminal charges, we want to help. We will do our very best to avoid a criminal conviction and guide you toward the help you need to live a happy, healthy, and successful life.
Our dynamic staff of social workers and attorneys understand addiction and are well-prepared to fight for the best outcome for your case.