|When an individual suffering from addiction runs into the law, so often than not, courts decide on incarceration, as the court system is not designed to address addiction resolution. Attorneys with experience in handling such cases practice in recovery defense. The goal of recovery defense is to devise a non-criminal arrangement for clients to receive the care they need rather than prison time. Patrick O’Fiel has extensive experience in recovery defense. He uses non-criminal disposition strategies to get his clients the help they require rather than serving the prison sentence they face. Patrick has been practicing law for over fifteen years. He is the fifth generation of O’Fiel family lawyers. Moved to the Hill Country in 2005 from Beaumont, Texas, Patrick has been serving Kerrville, TX and the surrounding area ever since. With extensive experience handling recovery defense and legal issues for people charged with drug-related incidents, Patrick far too often sees the continuous cycle of repeat offenders caught up in addiction.
In many cases, when dealing with a client who has an underlying addiction problem, he witnesses a cycle. He says, “when people come to me they are going through a theft case or a drug case. To get them through it, they have to address the real issue that’s causing these problems.” If the underlying problem goes unaddressed, Patrick explains how it will develop into a more challenging matter. Patrick believes the criminal justice system would rather lock people away. “It’s a cycle that way. You get busted for drugs, then you get put on probation and have a conviction, now you can’t get a job, then you’re more depressed. It just keeps snowballing the whole time. They get stuck on the felony deal, and it just turns bad,” says Patrick.
Treating an individual for an addiction rather than placing them in prison can give them the coping mechanisms to maintain sobriety. The therapies offered at La Hacienda allow patients a new state of physical, mental and spiritual well-being, before leaving our campus to confront their legal issues, as well as their marital and financial hardships that have been the result of their substance abuse. Once they do so, Patrick describes how treatment programs can change a client’s life. He describes the change as “a night and day transformation.”
Not only does treatment improve the quality of life for someone suffering from addiction, but it also benefits society as a whole. The goal is “that someone can become a productive member of society and not be dependent on the drug and learn how to cope without it. A lot of them relapse – that’s pretty standard, but at least they have the tools to start over,” Patrick says.
Looking forward, Patrick hopes that treatment will continue to become more accessible. “It is expensive. There are programs out there, but I don’t think there’s enough.”
Patrick’s experience testifies that just implementing legal solutions to addiction problems does not work. The legal system puts an enormous burden on taxpayers — it costs approximately $30,000 a year to incarcerate someone. Also, the legal system simply punishes offenders — there is no program to change behavior or to help people overcome addiction in prison.
Patrick has been a partner with La Hacienda since 2013. He has worked with an extremely high number of patient’s since our joint effort began.
Due to the comprehensive programs we offer, we are an attractive alternative for many judges. Our patients meet with a medical doctor every day they are in treatment. We keep detailed records of the treatment process and work closely with most insurance companies.
To learn more about the recovery defense program, contact The Law Office of Patrick O’Fiel at (830) 792-5291 or visit www.ofiellaw.com.