Unfortunately, it is all too common for people with substance use disorders to get possession charges and DUIs. Typically this happened while they are in their active addiction because they are not thinking as clearly as they would be if they were sober.
For those who have actively sought treatment and are now in recovery, dealing with the legal ramifications from your past life can be discouraging. However, an important part of recovery, difficult though it may be, is recognizing that your actions have consequences that need to be addressed in due time.
This truth does not need to be unpleasant, because it ultimately leads to increased freedom. When you handle all the problems caused by addiction, legal problems included, your recovery becomes more sustainable, freer and entire.
Commit to your sobriety
Getting a legal notice in the mail can be gut-wrenching and frustrating, especially if you’re on the road to recovery.
But this is important — showing up to court with proof that you are currently or have recently been enrolled in a treatment program speaks volumes. Showing a judge that you have turned your life around and are staying sober can go a long way. Judges are much more likely to administer less severe sentences on individuals actively working on recovery, than on individuals who have not taken those concrete steps and are more at risk of relapse.
Additionally, keep in mind that by committing to sobriety, you will not have to deal with situations like this in the future.
Use your community for legal help
There are a number of individuals in your community who you can tap into to help you navigate legal issues with dignity and professionalism.
- Your support group community — If you are part of a support group, be it a 12-step program or one within your treatment center itself, consider sharing your current situation and feelings about what you are dealing with: a DUI, possession charges, etc. Other group members might feel moved to share their story as well, which can offer you encouragement and support, as well as concrete advice, like who are the reputable lawyers.
- Lawyers — The legal system can be complicated to understand at the best of times, so investing in a knowledgeable, trustworthy and honorable lawyer can significantly help you make sense of legal jargon, as well as put some fears of the unknown to rest.
- Trusted friends and family — While your family and friends might not be able to actively help in the courtroom, they can certainly offer support, encouragement and kindness during this difficult time. Plus, allowing them to help you with this could positively impact your relationships.
By trusting the right people and going to them for help and wisdom, you can put your anxieties to rest and more confidently face any past charges.
Humbly accept the consequences
Even though you may be dealing with legal issues in recovery and you know full well that the person who committed those crimes is not the person you are today, running from the problems will not fix anything. Therefore, it’s important, as well as beneficial to your recovery, to humbly accept whatever consequences, sentences or punishments come as a result.
While difficult, you will grow as you take on these consequences be it: community service, suspension of your license or something more severe. if you stay committed to your recovery regardless of these challenges, you can come out of the experience stronger, more grounded and more motivated than ever to continue striving for long term sobriety.
Find a counselor
There is no denying that facing legal problems are hard and discouraging at times, with various emotions and anxieties. If you are new to recovery, it can be tempting to cope with these emotions in unhealthy ways. This is why continuing to attend addiction treatment or seeking out professional help in the means of a counselor can be beneficial.
Counselors can help you navigate all these thoughts and feelings, as well as assist in the development of healthy coping skills for dealing with stress surrounding legal problems.