Mitigation as a Strategy

A sexual assault criminal defense attorney always has two roles throughout a case. The first role is defender and litigator. Over the past several posts, I have discussed that role in great detail. The other role is subtler and requires a delicate hand: the role of mitigation advocate.

Not all clients have the benefit of being innocent. Many have cases that are close calls and do not wish to experience the ordeal that is litigation and trial. Regardless of whether your case will go to trial or not, the Ohio Sexual Assault Lawyers at The Law Office of Brian Jones, LLC will prepare for mitigation of penalties from day one.

Mitigation in cases of alleged sexual assault can take many forms. In some cases a drug or alcohol issue caused my client to have a lapse in judgment. Still, other clients are addicted to sex acts and need to address the problems associated with their emotional and psychological needs. We work with our clients to find the root cause of their behavior and then help in coordinating a plan to address the emotional and psychological needs before the Court imposes a plan upon the client.

People often ask me how I can live with myself knowing I represent “those people.” While I have a variety of answers depending on the situation, I often respond that I do not represent bad people; I represent people with needs that have remained unaddressed for too long. I go on to explain that my clients generally fall into one of three categories. First, I have clients who put themselves in a bad situation by going to a party or other public function without a plan for getting home at the end of the night. Second, I have clients who choose a lover or spouse with unaddressed emotional and psychological needs or have unaddressed emotional and psychological needs themselves. And finally, I have clients who have unaddressed drug and alcohol addictions. Often these three categories overlap and culminate in the event causing the client to seek my services.

We represent clients with drug and alcohol issues every day. Whether the client admits a problem with drugs and alcohol or we are confident there is no problem with drugs and alcohol, our attorneys encourage our clients to obtain a professional assessment of treatment needs early in the litigation process. The professionals at Directions Counseling Group are our go-to source for accurate, appropriate assessments and treatment plans. While we will always make the referral to Directions Counseling Group, many of our clients choose other treatment providers for a number of reasons. Whether the client follows our referral or chooses another provider, our attorneys make sure we work closely with the counselor to create an assessment report and treatment plan that will satisfy the Court’s concerns.

We do not stop at the assessment phase in assisting the client with recovery. We have lists available for twelve-step meetings in a variety of locations we regularly practice in. If you do not live in or your case is not in one of our most frequently visited regions, we know how and where to get that information for you. We will provide you that list. Many attorneys will not go to that extra effort. We provide our clients with a very clear meeting attendance log; it is designed to be a simple, visual representation of your attendance at twelve-step meetings while your case is pending. While twelve-step meetings work for many people, they do not work for everyone. Our attorneys will take the time to talk with you and your counselor to develop a plan for treatment of the root causes of your addiction. Once that plan is in place, we will create a paper trail to show the Court how we are working together to prevent replaces and eliminate the need for additional court-ordered sanctions including jail or prison.

In some cases, drugs and alcohol are not the issue needing addressed. Sexual addiction is a recognized mental health disease by the American Psychological Association’s DSM-V. Study after study has demonstrated the failure of incarceration (and the threat of incarceration) to prevent sexual aggression. Persons with mental health problems relating to sexual addiction often have no ability to control their behavior. Diagnosis and treatment combined create a path to wellness for the addict as well as the addict’s community. Diagnosis provides understanding to the addict. Understanding how the mind works and causes mistaken thinking allows for recognition of the problem. Once recognized, treatment offers alternatives to acting on the mistaken thought processes. Treatment also offers resources for reliance and guidance when decision-making becomes difficult. Finally, treatment offers alternatives to risky situations, replaces risky behavior with safer behavior and encourages methodical decision-making.

All the advice we give and work you put in means nothing unless the Court understands the treatment model. We have worked with Judges, Probation Officers and Prosecutors through education in both formal and informal settings. We discuss treatment options and progress each time we speak with these key players. We explain how treatment will prevent future criminal behavior. Finally, we draft thorough sentencing memoranda backed by research and verified by a paper trail our staff will help you create from day one.

We have represented clients with all types of addiction. From the first consultation, we will discuss what we can do to help you live a happier, healthier life. We have the connections necessary to make appropriate referrals based on our assessment of your needs. We will gather the evidence necessary to demonstrate to the Court that you have acknowledged the root cause of your behavior and acted to address it. A lot of law firms offer legal assistance. We call ourselves “Counselors” because we take a holistic approach to the legal trouble in which you find yourself. If you want an attorney who cares about you personally and wants to see you success, call us. We will do all we can to ensure the best result possible in your case.