Punishing nature of the law is a drag on society

Defending people who have been accused of a crime has a stigma attached to it. Many people will immediately think that anyone accused of a crime must be guilty. It is just how some people think of the world. Of course, not everyone accused of a crime is guilty of the charges they face, just as people who may be guilty of committing an offense don’t necessarily deserve the full force of the law (or the full list of potential consequences) to affect them.

For example, if someone has never committed a criminal offense, and then they are accused of driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level that was 0.085, should they be treated as a ruthless criminal that is akin to a three or four time DUI offender?

And should a three or four time DUI offender be subjected to increasing penalties when such penalties seem to have diminishing returns in terms of recidivism?

Obviously some penalties are necessary. But excessive penalties for crimes can ruin a person’s life. When the crime is relatively minor (such as a DUI without any accident occurring, or drug possession) the excessive punishment only promotes a culture of fear and a misunderstanding of how we need to correct bad behaviors and reintegrate people with society.

At the Law Office of James M. Burns, we have experience handling a wide range of criminal charges, such as drunk driving, white collar crimes, violent crimes, sex crimes, drug crimes, weapons crimes, and federal crimes.