Attorney Richard Sweeney is a criminal defense lawyer with 20 years of experience as a former sergeant of the Boston Police Department. Furthermore, he spent five of those years on the drug unit, which has given him unparalleled insight into how drug cases and prosecutions tend to function.
To discuss his impressive history, Attorney Sweeney was recently featured on a radio show , Crosscheck: Substance Abuse Radio. As unexpected as it may seem, Attorney Sweeney’s five years on the drug unit changed his outlook on drug users prolifically. In the early days of his police career, he spoke of how there was such strong motivation to catch drug users in the act, make an arrest, file the paperwork, and hit the streets again to find the next user. However, as the opioid epidemic began to put a strangle hold on America, the overall view of users changed from “people the police need to penalize” to “people everyone, including the police, need to try to help.”
Richard learned from those years that drug users and people charged with drug crimes are usually in that position without ever having the intent or want to get there. Many, for example, suffer a bad injury, like he did as a police officer when he suffered as serious spinal cord injury, and get prescribed addictive opioids. Before they know it, some people develop a substance use disorder that is consuming their day-to-day lives and making them resort to unsafe, unreasonable, and sometimes illegal acts to feed the addiction.
Transferring Real World Knowledge Into Practice
Acting as a trusted Quincy criminal defense attorney today, Attorney Sweeney can apply his knowledge earned on the force to his defense practice. He has a new opportunity, as he explained during the radio show with former NHL star, Kevin Stevens, to find a way to help drug users by working with criminal courts to get them support. “I think that the key in all honesty is that my job is to get you to someone who knows what they’re doing,” he said.
Criminal courts now have an expanded responsibility on making certain drug users are provided real help, not just fined and incarcerated. A criminal defense attorney’s role in this matter is working with the courts and prosecutors when possible to create a plea deal that centers on recovery, not punishment. Drug courts have become a fantastic point of leverage, as he described, in getting people real help to fight addiction. A judge will offer a user the options of either going to drug court to seek a path to sobriety and rehabilitation, or incarceration. The best choice is clear and enables people to really start getting help.
You can listen to the entire radio podcast featuring Attorney Richard Sweeney by clicking here. To learn more about our Quincy criminal defense law firm, led by a former Boston Police sergeant with five years commanding a the drug unit, please feel free to call us at (617) 300-0212. Our legal team is dedicated to doing everything we can to protect your rights and best interests, including finding a way to work with a drug court to get you real support when you need it the most.