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Surgeon accused of stealing medical cocaine given probation

Although many people believe that a person who commits a crime is unremorseful, many of our California readers know that this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, a person will immediately feel guilty about what they have done. Not because they are afraid of the legal consequences of their actions, which is what most people believe to be the driving force, but rather because they truly want to correct what they have done.

This was the case for a 42-year-old plastic surgeon who, after being accused of stealing five vials of medical cocaine, immediately asked what he could do to remedy the serious situation before him. He faced a misdemeanor theft charge as well as a felony drug-paraphernalia possession charge for allegedly taking the vials from a surgery center’s pharmacy. Roughly three weeks ago, after accepting a plea deal, he pleaded guilty to the charges.

But instead of a prison sentence, the man’s plea deal truly allowed him to correct his mistake. According to reports, he was allowed to participate in an in-patient drug treatment program here in California and was recently sentenced to three years probation. If he completes his probation without incident, he may request that the felony conviction be reduced to a misdemeanor charge.

Even if the charges are later wiped from his record, these are not charges he will soon forget. But the chance to correct a mistake through rehabilitation and probation is one that many of our San Diego readers would likely want in their own situation. It’s long been held by many experts across the nation that rehabilitation often works better than incarceration. Hopefully this particular case will bolster this belief, leading to better outcomes in criminal cases down the road.

Source: AZ Central, “Scottsdale doctor gets probation in medicinal cocaine theft,” Jacques Billeaud, April 8, 2014

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Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results