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What Are The Criminal Consequences Of Being A Habitual Offender?

Even law-abiding citizens can make mistakes and break the law at some point. However, not all people are willing to learn from their mistakes and avoid a repeat of the scenario. In addition, some choose crime as their livelihood. You will be pleased to know that the law can be lenient when you have made a mistake for the first time. This is especially the case when it is a misdemeanor and not a felony. However, note that repeat offenses attract more significant consequences. Here is everything you should know about habitual offenders.  

What It Means to Get Labelled as a Habitual Offender

A habitual offender is someone who has committed more than one criminal offense, which could be simple misdemeanors or felonies. However, once your record starts reading several crimes, you will get into worse problems should you commit a crime. Additionally, you might get worse penalties and sentences for your crimes. You should also note that some records will become part of your criminal history for some years, while others might last longer. Moreover, a long record means that officers will access it each time you get arrested, making it more challenging to prove your case. 

Offenses Related to Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

Most people labeled as habitual offenders also have a history of substance abuse. This is because alcoholism and drug abuse impair your ability to reason. Consequently, you will have increased chances of engaging in criminal activities when under the influence. In addition, people who abuse drugs also spiral and start stealing or committing other crimes to get money for drugs. Hence, tackling criminal offenses gets complicated when the person also has substance abuse issues. Also, note that another common cause of habitual crimes is mental illness. As such, stressed, depressed people and those diagnosed with personality disorders are more likely to get involved in crime than those with emotional balance. 

Criminal Consequences of Being a Habitual Offender

Many states have tough penalties and legal consequences for habitual offenders. In most cases, they put these laws in place to discourage people from repeating offenses. They also believe that by putting repeat offenders in jail, they can minimize the number of crimes committed. Other states offer alternative punishment to prevent the occurrence of the same offense. For example, some might recommend rehabilitation if the underlying cause is addiction. You should know that working with a lawyer is the best way to get the ideal resolution to the crime.

It is best to hire a criminal defense lawyer if you get arrested for a second time for the same or a different offense. You should understand that getting justice gets tough as your arrests increase. Therefore, hiring a lawyer can work in your favor and get you better outcomes. 

For more info, contact a criminal defense attorney.