In Los Angeles, drug penalties can be a serious challenge; however, when drug offenses occur at Los Angeles International Airport, any Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will tell you that the problems are compounded. Los Angeles drug offense attorneys know that the drug laws involving airport infractions are more complicated than at other locations.
Many people assume that celebrities get preferential treatment when it comes to drug issues. However, the recent arrest of rapper Coolio (real name Artis Leon Ivey, Jr.) is evidence that even the rich and famous can get caught in the wrong. The 45 year-old rapper, best known for his 1995 hit single, "Gangstas Paradise," was arrested last Friday at Los Angeles International Airport when security screeners found drugs and drug paraphernalia in his luggage.
Ivey is officially charged with one count of felony possession, one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia and one misdemeanor count of battery as he grabbed a security screeners arm just before his bags were searched. Ivey was released after posting $10,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned April 3rd and faces up to three years in prison if convicted.
In Los Angeles, possession of any illegal drugs or controlled substances without a prescription is a criminal offense, as is the possession of drug paraphernalia. For most controlled substances, possession for personal use is classified as a felony, with the notable exception of marijuana, which is generally classified as a misdemeanor. Possession of drug-related paraphernalia or being caught under the influence of any illegal drug or controlled substance without a prescription are both generally misdemeanor offenses.
Most drug offense penalties depend on a variety of factors including the quantity and type of drug used (or found, in this case), whether the drugs in question were for personal use or sale, and the prior criminal record of the defendant, especially as it relates to drug offenses. Media outlets have reported that the drug found in Iveys luggage was cocaine, which will obviously carry a greater penalty than would a "lesser" drug such as marijuana. The rappers last criminal offense occurred in June of 2008 when he was arrested on an outstanding warrant for driving with a suspended license.
Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP is a criminal defense law firm that has been helping clients throughout Southern California contest their criminal charges and obtain superior results for years. Our skilled drug crimes attorneys have over 50 years of collective court room experience and we are fully prepared to undertake our clients cases. When we work with our clients, we do everything possible to make sure that they receive the attention, resources, and dedicated legal counsel that they deserve.