Client Morale & Impact On Client Lives
Interviewer: Let’s get to the human factor of drug cases. First of all, how have you seen drug charges affect people’s lives if they were to get charged with or convicted of a drug crime? How does it affect someone’s life?
John Reade: Sometimes there are employment policies by an employer that say if you are convicted of a felony, (which a lot of drug charges are) you could lose, or will lose, your job. I hear people say often enough that, “Hey, I know if I’m convicted of this felony, I’m going to lose my job so I need to avoid a felony conviction.”
Sometimes, if a person has a certain type of license, particularly a professional license, and they are convicted of a felony they could also lose their professional license. Those are two common concerns that I hear when someone is charged with a felony drug crime.
Interviewer: Are you talking about professional licenses like teachers or nurses?
John Reade: Teachers, nurses, accountants, doctors, lawyers or anyone with any type of license that requires that they adhere to certain guidelines, or not have any type of felony conviction.
Interviewer: When you meet with a client and they have been charged with a drug possession or drug delivery crime, what typically is their state of mind? What are some of the human factors that you’ve observed over the years?
John Reade: There is the concern that if they are convicted of a felony drug crime, that they are going to lose their job. There are other things that a person may be concerned about such as their driver’s license being suspended if they are convicted of a drug crime. In addition, for a lot of people, just the thought of having a felony conviction does not sit well with them.
Interviewer: How do you help remove that emotional aspect with that client, and keep them focused on their case? Is there anything that you tell them that may comfort them or anything that you can do to help keep them on track?
John Reade: The thing you can do is to tell them what their options are, generally, based on the facts of their case and hopefully their lack of a prior criminal record. In addition, as far as any drug crime, you can tell the person what the likely outcome is as far as a best case scenario and a worst case scenario.
Interviewer: When you meet with them, can you give someone an idea of how their case might play out or be resolved?
John Reade: Yes, I can usually tell someone what to expect as far as a best and worst case scenario, and a possible resolution without a trial.
Interviewer: You mentioned employment worries and things like that. How public is someone’s case going to be? Will someone at work or their family find out, right away, or do they have a little bit of time before anyone finds out?
John Reade: In some counties, like Josephine County, an arrest and/or conviction of a crime(s) appears in the local newspaper. So someone who looks at that section of the local newspaper will find out about a person’s arrest and/or conviction, shortly after that person’s arrest or conviction.