Illinois residents may know the comedian, actor and author Artie Lange best for his work on the Howard Stern radio show, and they could be aware that the 49-year-old entertainer has struggled with substance abuse issues in the past and attempted to take his own life in 2010. Lange’s career appeared to be on an upward trajectory when his HBO show ‘Crashing” premiered in February to positive reviews, but the actor’s fortunes took a negative turn on March 12 when he was taken into custody on drug charges by police in New Jersey.
A Hoboken Police Department representative says that officers were dispatched to a condominium development in the vicinity of Shipyard Lane and 14th Street to investigate reports of a suspicious individual attempting to gain entry to a vehicle in the building’s parking lot. Officers say that they found no signs of the individual when they arrived at the scene, but they claim to have noticed packages of what they believed to be illegal drugs inside the vehicle. Lange is then said to have approached the officers and told them that the car belonged to him.
A search of Lange’s vehicle and person is said to have uncovered several bags containing heroin and cocaine, and the actor was subsequently taken into custody on drug possession and drug paraphernalia charges. Reports indicate that he was issued a summons and released after being processed at a nearby police station.
When presented with facts like these, experienced criminal defense attorneys may study police reports carefully to ensure that protections guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment were not violated. Police are not permitted to conduct warrantless searches without probable cause, and attorneys could argue that exigent circumstances do not exist when substances in plain sight may or not be illegal drugs. Attorneys could also advise those facing drug charges to make no admissions to police officers before speaking with a lawyer.