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Woman with Heroin Addiction Sentenced to Prison

In some states, if you were a heroin addict who held up a grocery store with a toy gun like Marisol Rodriguez-Ritter of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, you might end up getting sent to drug rehab by the judge. Not so for Rodriguez-Ritter: she was sentenced to 33 to 83 months in prison.

Rodriguez-Ritter claims that she went to the criminal extremes she did because of a heroin addiction. She lost her child due to her addiction and was trying to pay the child support payments by robbing the grocery store. She tried to define herself as a victim of heroin addiction in need of help, but the DA wasn’t buying it.

Robert Eyer was the assistant district attorney assigned to Rodriguez-Ritter’s case. He says: “I’m not going to suggest that she does not have a drug addiction. But I’m going to suggest this is way more than a drug problem.”

He may be right: after obtaining a warrant, police searched the home where Rodriguez-Ritter lived with her boyfriend and found 140 bags of heroin. Hardly the stash of someone who is solely a heroin addict. More likely, Rodriguez-Ritter and/ or her boyfriend are heroin dealers and the courts don’t look too kindly upon that.

Drug Rehab or Prison?

When possession of drugs like heroin is a small enough amount to be for personal use only, the courts are more likely to prescribe drug addiction treatment as opposed to a prison stint, especially if there is one or no priors and that is the only charge. Unfortunately, when you add in a violent charge to the mix, few courts will risk putting you back out on the street without at least a short stay in jail and a probation officer to make sure that you’re staying in line.

Jail Plus Drug Rehab

More often than not, in the case of multiple drug possession charges or cases of a drug possession charge coincides with other charges, the judge will order a stay in jail or prison, depending upon the severity of the crime and the priors. But the sentence won’t end there. Rodriguez-Ritter, for example, is required to attend drug rehab while she is in prison and is further tasked with getting her GED. The hope is that while she is inside, Rodriguez-Ritter will be able to clean up her act and get a foundation for a successful recovery when she gets out of prison. Her daughter may be older by then, but if she does well inside, she likely won’t serve the full seven years and she’ll be able to show a family court judge that she is stable and dedicated to giving her daughter the life she deserves.

Drug Rehab Before the Prison Sentence

If you are living with heroin addiction, cocaine addiction, alcohol addiction and other addiction issues that are putting you in a position to commit crimes in order to maintain your habit, the best thing you can do for yourself is get the help you need before you find yourself standing in front of a judge. Women who are ready to turn their life around can find help at The Orchid. Call today for more information.

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