Addiction as Criminal Defense

It’s a fine line between providing treatment instead of punishment and overlooking bad behavior. While it’s proven that those arrested and jailed for addiction-related crimes don’t benefit from being incarcerated, especially since there is rarely treatment provided, most agree that crimes should be punished, even when there are extenuating circumstances.

So what should be done when someone suffering from a gambling addiction steals? Do you offer treatment, jail time, restitution or a combination of all three? It’s a hard question to answer, but one a judge faced recently.

When 42-year-old Bonnie Hartle of Auburndale, Wisconsin admitted to stealing more than $1 million from her employer, some were stunned to find that she was only sentenced to a year in the Wood County jail.

Why such a light sentence?

Hartle told a judge that she spent all the money she had taken from Weiler Convenience Store in Marshfield because she has a gambling addiction. Prosecutors say she began stealing from Weiler in 2000.

As a result of the arrest, Hartle pleaded no contest to 25 charges. She was granted Huber privileges in order to pay back the $1.3 million she’s accused of taking and will also serve 30 years of supervised release.

Gambling and Drug Addiction Help at The Oaks at La Paloma

If you or someone you love needs treatment for a process addiction or a process addiction and co-occurring substance abuse problem, call The Oaks at La Paloma at the toll-free number on our homepage. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.

Articles posted here are primarily educational and may not directly reflect the offerings at The Oaks. For more specific information on programs at The Oaks, contact us today.