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Paris Hilton cocaine case poses challenges for prosecutors, legal expert says

Paris Hilton and Cy Waits mug shotsAs Paris Hilton faces arraignment on a cocaine-possession charge after being arrested in Las Vegas, a legal expert says the case might be harder to prove than it appears.

Prosecutors in such minor drug-possession cases face several hurdles, and even when they do get a conviction, typically the punishment is drug treatment, said Dmitry Gorin, a former L.A. County prosecutor and well-known defense attorney.

“First they are going to have prove it’s her purse and then she had custody of it,” Gorin said. “When it comes to celebrities, often assistants and entourage handle things like that, so it becomes harder to show they are the ones with the item.”

Media outlets in Las Vegas reported Monday morning that Hilton told police the purse was not hers.

A police lieutenant discovered the cocaine in a baggy after Hilton was escorted into the Wynn hotel after a traffic stop nearby. The lieutenant said he saw the drugs when Hilton asked for her purse to get a lip balm. 

Gorin said Hilton’s legal team may also challenge the cause for the search in the first place. Police said they pulled over the SUV that Hilton was in after smelling marijuana fumes.

He said that if her legal team can raise questions about whether the marijuana smell came from her SUV, they could get the evidence tossed out. Gorin said ultimately if prosecutors do succeed in convicting Hilton, the punishment would mostly likely involve drug diversion.

The defense lawyer says there are numerous arrests of this nature on the Vegas Strip (minus the celebrity) and most finish in some kind of diversion program unless the person has a lengthy prior record. Las Vegas police said they had enough evidence to arrest Hilton, but it will be up to prosecutors to file charges.

Attorneys for Hilton and her boyfriend, Cy Waits, have suggested that not all the facts in the case have been made public. Hilton’s attorney, David Chesnoff, released a statement urging people not to make a "rush to judgment."

-- Richard Winton

Photos: Paris Hilton and her boyfriend, Cy Waits. Credit: Las Vegas Police Department

 
Comments () | Archives (29)

Mike Henderson wrote:

"The State does not need to prove it was her purse. They only need to prove that she had custody and control of it. That doesn't seem too hard since she knew that the lip balm was in there. She knew about the balm but not the coke? She better have a witness that confesses to it being hers and who is willing to take the rap. Every person I have ever seen busted for possession starts out by saying that the purse or the car or whatever, was not theirs. I assure you that this is not the first time the judge heard that story. No judge I was ever in front of as a lawyer would buy that story. She would be better off to take the rap, do some evaluation and treatment prior to the case, and then beg for mercy. It is true that these types of cases usually end up in probation and treatment, but she does have a record. In any event, these start to add up--if she doesn't get herself straight she is going to end up in prison."

You’re absolutely right Mike on all counts, including your analysis of the facts surrounding this case. And if this was your run of the mill, average citizen, your analysis would be spot on. But, it’s not “any person” claiming the coke wasn’t hers, it’s Paris Hilton. That’s the part you haven’t factored in.

Paris Hilton has more money and time on her hands to fight this that anyone alive.

She will hire a team of the best defense attorneys who will simply paper the DA to death. These attorneys will clear their calendar for the next year if necessary to devote their full attention to her case, while the DA prosecuting this case will still have a stack of cases they will have to tend to. The DA will be more than happy to offer some reduced possession charge in order to adjudicate this case on move on to the next one.

She has nothing to worry about!

Money is the challenge - not the facts of the case.

Paris Hilton does what she does best again, and is all over the headlines for it. Paris Hilton is the consummate professional in the endeavor of being arrested for drugs. Paris Hilton
gets busted for drugs againThis time, she was booked for possession of drugs. She was found by Las Vegas police to be possessing cocaine. This is her third substance bust in as many months. She was already arrested twice for possession of cannabis.

PARIS HILTON IS CURRENTLY EVADING FEDERAL PROSECUTION FOR TRANS STATE STALKING CRIMES.


THERE HAS BEEN AN ONGOING C.I.A. COVER UP GOING ON SINCE AT LEAST THE SUMMER OF 2008 WHEN THE COMMERCIAL THAT COMPARED BARACK H. OBAMA TO PARIS HILTON AND BRITNEY SPEARS CAME OUT (FROM HER FAMILY IN AN ATTEMPT TO TRY TO CAUSE A HESITATION FOR FEDERAL PROSECUTION AS IT WILL SHOW THAT THE ELECTION HAD CORRUPTION.

SINCERELY, BRANDON M. WITTE

ARLINGTON, TEXAS
AGE: 34

 
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