California fans of comedian Artie Lange might be interested to learn that he was sentenced on drug possession charges in New Jersey on June 2. The 50-year-old received four years probation and 50 hours of community service. In addition, he must complete an outpatient substance abuse program.
In May 2017, Lange was arrested after he was observed driving his Range Rover in an erratic fashion on New Jersey's Garden State Parkway. During a subsequent traffic stop, an officer noticed a bag of heroin on his lap and placed him under arrest. He was initially charged with possession of heroin, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia, but the cocaine and paraphernalia charges were dropped as part of a plea bargain. In December, he pleaded guilty to third-degree possession of a controlled substance.
Lange, who rose to fame as Howard Stern's radio sidekick, has openly discussed his drug addiction issues on social media. Right before his sentence, he took to Twitter to praise his attorney and say that the judge presiding over his case had been fair. He also said he intended to accept whatever sentence he received. Following his sentence, his attorney thanked the judge for allowing Lange to attend treatment and continue earning a living.
While individuals facing drug charges are at risk of harsh consequences, a criminal defense attorney could help obtain a better outcome. Even in cases where the evidence is strong, attorneys could negotiate for reduced charges and more lenient penalties. As was demonstrated in this case, it may be possible to arrange a plea deal that allows a defendant to undergo drug treatment in lieu of incarceration.
Source: The Wrap, "Artie Lange Sentenced in Drug Case", Tim Kenneally, June 1, 2018