ASAP Bari Avoids Jail and Probation by Pleading Guilty to Misdemeanor Marijuana Charges
The leading news story this week about the legal troubles of celebrities has played out far from Pennsylvania. The parents of every college student who works his or her fingers to the bone studying to maintain a high enough GPA to keep a much-needed scholarship have been powerless to avoid gawking at the headlines about Operation Varsity Blues, in which celebrities and other wealthy parents are facing the consequences of resorting to bribes and other dishonest tactics to ensure their children’s admission to competitive and prestigious universities. The recent development in which Felicity Huffman is likely to receive only a short prison sentence, if any, because she has entered a guilty plea, while Lori Loughlin refused a plea deal and may face years behind bars illustrates why the vast majority of defendants plead guilty. While most people reading this blog have probably never met someone who bribed their children’s way into college, marijuana charges are a much more quotidian occurrence. This week’s story involves a celebrity who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor marijuana charges, thus avoiding a severe punishment.
Why Plead Guilty?
No one likes to admit guilt, but if there is enough evidence that the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime of which he or she has been accused, then pleading guilty is often less risky than pleading innocent. If you plead innocent but then a jury finds you guilty, the penalties are often worse than if you plead guilty. Courts sometimes offer plea bargains, in which the defendant can plead guilty to a lesser charge while having accusations of a more serious crime dropped. In other plea bargains, the defendant pleads guilty to the original charges but receives a lighter sentence than if he or she had chosen to plead innocent.
In the News
In November 2018, clothing designer ASAP Bari was arrested in Pennsylvania and received seven criminal charges. Five of them were misdemeanors for possession of drug paraphernalia, while the other two were felonies, namely drug possession with intent to deliver. The drug in question was marijuana; the arrest was a result of police searching ASAP Bari’s car on suspicion of marijuana possession because the car smelled like weed. If he had been found guilty of these crimes, he could have faced jail time. In the end, though, ASAP Bari accepted a plea deal, in which he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor marijuana charges. His sentence was a fine of $4,000. Many times, when defendants are arrested on felony drug charges and agree to plead guilty to misdemeanor drug charges, their sentence is probation instead of jail. ASAP Bari was able to avoid even probation; he walked away from the case with only a fine.
Contact Gary E. Gerson About Misdemeanor Marijuana Charges
Marijuana charges can happen to anyone, not just celebrities. Contact the Law Offices of Gary E. Gerson to speak to a dedicated Pittsburgh misdemeanor drug crime lawyer if you have been arrested for possessing any amount of marijuana.