As criminal defense attorneys, we often see clients charged with crimes as a result of failure to get treatment for some underlying problem. For example, new parents without adequate resources and understanding of how to care for a child may be charged with abuse or neglect simply for modeling the only parenting behaviors they have seen. Individuals with gambling addictions or compulsive shopping disorders may find themselves arrested for embezzlement. Drug addiction can lead to myriad possible charges: possession, distribution, theft, domestic violence and prostitution are some of the most common crimes related to addiction. Sex addictions may ultimately lead to sex crime charges. And anger management issues may lead to assault charges.
Unfortunately, many people do not get the help they need until after it is too late. Such is the case of one Oklahoma City criminal defense lawyer who found himself charged with assault when he was unable to control his anger over a parking space dispute.
In January of this year, attorney Mark K. Bailey was charged with felony assault related to an August 2016 incident in which he struck a woman with his vehicle. In that case, Bailey reportedly blocked a woman from parking at a downtown weight loss clinic and gave her an obscene gesture when she raised her hands in frustration. The woman says she backed up and parked elsewhere, but when she attempted to enter the clinic, Bailey accelerated toward her, striking her hand.
Because of the use of a vehicle to perpetrate the assault, prosecutors charged Bailey with assault with a dangerous weapon, a felony.
In May, the defense attorney admitted that he had a problem with anger management and agreed to seek treatment. As a result of his decision to get the help he needed, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the charges upon completion of an anger management program. The defendant was required to complete 12 individual counseling sessions through Lawyers Helping Lawyers.
This month, upon proof of completion, prosecutors dismissed the assault charge against Mark Bailey.
Lawyers Helping Lawyers is an initiative of the Oklahoma Bar Association. It provides crisis counseling and group support to OBA members dealing with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, stress, gambling problems, relationship challenges and other issues that affect their mental health and potentially their practice.
Everyone faces challenges, and sometimes, people need support to manage their issues. We are grateful to see our fellow attorneys getting the help they so desperately need, just as we are grateful to see our clients obtain treatment for issues that impact their criminal records.
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