Celebrities and Substance Abuse

This week brought us more news about celebrities, substance abuse and their legal consequences. I was representing a client charged with a DUI in Airport Court on the day Lindsay Lohan appeared again for felony proceedings and witnessed the media zoo surrounding her latest failings.

The judge indicated that any plea agreement would lead to a period of time in county jail and went on to lecture Lindsay about her need to be involved with a good AA sponsor. In addition Charlie Sheen could not keep his thoughts about drugs, alcohol and his employer to himself leading to the cancellation of Two and a Half Men at least until he can get his life under control.

Alcohol and Drug abuse does not discriminate and can effect anyone from any walk of life. Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen are not exceptional, it's just that they have the spotlight on them. It used to be the case that the common perception was that celebrities could behave like this without consequence and would be given an easy ride by their agents, employers and the criminal justice system.

On many occasions, I have been asked by clients a variation of "why did OJ get away with murder and I am being treated like a criminal for a DUI". The reality is that judges and prosecutors are very sensitive to public opinion and are now treating celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton more punitively.

DUI defense lawyers in Los Angeles have to deal with the fallout from high profile cases involving drug and alcohol abuse which can lead to the courts being tougher on all defendants. If you have any questions concerning DUI penalties in California, please call Gold & Witham for a free case evaluation.


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