Alcohol Abuse, Dependence and Crime
Criminal Lawyers use specific terminolgy when speaking to a judge. Specific understanding of a term’s meaning as it pertains to our criminal justice system is mandatory. – William Moore
William Moore, a Criminal Lawyer in Broward County, Florida recently explained that defending DUI cases involves more than just defense tactics. Effective representation also involves informing the presiding Judge as to the steps that a defendant charged with drunk driving has undertaken in order to ensure that he or she is not a likely candidate for repeat alcohol related offenses.
Terminology is important when it comes to effectively communicating with the presiding judge, assigned prosecutor and or court appointed psychologists and substance abuse counselors according to Moore. This really comes into play in cases involving Multiple DUI Offenses or Alcohol Related Accidents.
Attorney Moore states that alcohol abuse is a term used to describe the negative effect that the use of alcohol can have on society as a whole. The term is also loosely applied to the heath risks that a commonly expected in the individual [abusing] alcohol. In the court system however, the term abuse would be more appropriately applied to the negative domestic effect on that individual’s family as well as the general public such as in cases of DUI and or disorderly intoxication and even random acts of violence or criminal mischief.
A good rule of thumb is to associate the negative effect on persons other than the user. This is most often seen in criminal cases like Domestic Violence or Drunk Driving in Broward County. Although alcohol abuse encompasses the health risks associated to the user, such information is rarely used as a mitigating or aggravating factor in criminal cases. For example, arguing that a defendant is burdened with dialysis due to chronic alcohol abuse is unlikely to garner much sympathy from a defense standpoint.
Alcohol Dependence in Criminal Cases
Alcohol Dependence on the other-hand is a terms commonly used in criminal cases when a defense lawyer is communicating treatment or recovery that has been undertaken by a defendant. Such evidence is generally presented to a presiding criminal judge or prosecutor in mitigation of a potential sentence should the defendant be convicted. According to Attorney William Moore, many conditions of DUI or Domestic Violence convictions involve treatment for alcohol dependence. A tactical criminal defense attorney will advise clients to begin either recovery or treatment for alcohol dependence regardless of the strength of any particular defense. This is important in cases that typically call for harsh sentences. According to Moore, laying the groundwork for mitigation based on steps taken prior to any potential conviction is paramount in criminal cases that have facts or charges that call for harsh sentences.
It is always important to prepare every angle in defending a client charged with a crime involving drugs or alcohol according to Moore.