I was reading the news over the weekend and noticed a progression in the Gary Dourdan case.  The ex-CSI actor has been charged with felony possession of an opiate.  He was arrested on June 13th after crashing his car.  At the time of the arrest it was believed that he was in possession of Ecstasy, a known “club drug”.  It was later discovered that he was actually in possession of the painkiller Oxycontin, and an additional charge of possession of drug paraphernalia was also assigned.

This is not Mr Dourdan’s first time having to deal with drug charges.  In 2008 he was arrested under charges of felony possession of heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy after being discovered by police passed out in his own car.

I’m a Hollywood defense attorney.  I see DUIs and possession cases daily.  The people that walk through my door, people like Mr. Dourdan, are troubled, haunted–whatever word choice you want to use to describe people battling with dependency and addiction.  Gary Dourdan isn’t smoking pot in his own home.  He’s not tipping the occasional drink down at the yacht club.  He’s passing out in his car with a pile of drugs that would put most people in the graveyard.  He’s being arrested again for felony possession of an opiate.  This is not a man who’s flagrantly thwarting the law.  This is a man in a deadly struggle for his life.

Is justice served by imprisoning someone who is already living in a prison of dependency?

This is the question I ask myself each day as I defend people like Gary Dourdan against drug charges.  Sometimes, what society wants is not justice–or else we wouldn’t imprison people who are harming themselves instead of others–no, what we want is to punish.  So my question to those who want to see the Gary Dourdan’s of this world punished is this: what greater punishment is there than drug addiction?  Your entire life is about drugs.  Relationships are non-existent.  Careers plummet.  Your life is all about dependency.  That’s a horrific punishment that these people live with.

Justice is restorative and benefits society.  What greater benefit can be derived by an addict going to prison?  The benefits come when he or she turns her life around and helps others, when they return to work, when they are productive again.

I help people facing drug charges because I believe in real justice.  If you or a loved one is facing DUI penalties, drug charges, or other criminal charges give me a call today at: 310.273.9600.