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Artie Lange sentenced to probation in heroin case

Maryland readers may be familiar with Artie Lange from his time on "The Howard Stern Show." However, the 50-year-old comedian has recently garnered more media attention for his drug problems.

In May 2017, Lange was arrested after a police officer saw a packet of heroin on his lap during a traffic stop on the Garden State Highway in New Jersey. He was charged with possession of heroin, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. However, he accepted a plea deal in December that dropped the cocaine and drug paraphernalia charges. In exchange, he agreed to plead guilty to possession of a controlled substance.

On June 2, an Essex County judge sentenced Lange to four years of probation and 50 hours of community service. He was also ordered to complete an outpatient drug diversion program. Just prior to his sentence, he took to Twitter to thank his attorney and praise the judge for being fair. He also said he was a "scumbag," but he was prepared to take any punishment he received "like a man." After Lange's sentence was handed down, his attorney thanked the judge for her "thoughtful" handling of the case and for allowing Lange to continue working while he sought treatment.

Drug charges can cause significant legal difficulties for defendants. Sentences often include jail time and expensive fines. However, a criminal defense attorney could review the evidence and attempt to challenge the prosecution's case. In some instances, legal counsel can get charges dismissed or obtain an acquittal. In others, an attorney may push to get charges reduced through a plea deal. This often leads to a more lenient sentence.

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