Artie Lange appeared in front of a New Jersey judge this morning to face his fate over a probation violation from a failed drug test — and he failed ANOTHER last-minute drug test taken in court, RadarOnline.com can exclusively report.
Wearing baggy jeans, scuffed white sneakers, a black beanie, and an oversized blue hoodie, the troubled 51-year-old took the stand alongside his attorney, Frank Arleo.
“Before I make a decision today I’m going to ask that you take a drug test right now,” Judge Nancy Sivilli ordered. “Once results are in, we will recall the case.”
Lange proceeded to leave the court to take a drug test. An hour later, the results came in: he had tested positive for cocaine, amphetamines and benzodiazepines.
While the judge acknowledged he had prescriptions for the latter two drugs, the prosecutor claimed the cocaine result was a probation violation.
“The cocaine from his system would be something that he would've had to have taken in the last one to two days,” Tony Gutierrez told the court, adding that he believes Lange should spend up to two years in treatment.
Arleo argued his client should not be thrown in jail, and agreed he needs long-term drug treatment.
"Jail is not the answer in my opinion. However, something is needed that's more than short-term…I've discussed with him,” the lawyer said. “I think drug court at this state is probably the best remedy, recognizing that it's going to be a long road and knowing it's the end of his road. I certainly would consent to a drug court."
“Artie is a very sick man,” his rehab counselor said in court.
However, the counselor argued that despite the relapse, Lange has made progress in his recovery.
“If you're looking at the end game being abstinence, he's failed that. But you're looking at, has he made progress since the last time he saw you? I would say yes. Bottom line is Artie Lange could leave here today and die from an overdose. He could die by getting hit by a car. You don't control that.”
Judge Sivilli agreed to grant Lange mercy, and ordered him to begin the process of applying to a drug court program.
According to the New Jersey courts website, “the mission of the drug court program is to assist defendants in overcoming alcohol and other drug dependencies while resolving related criminal charges.”
Participants must undergo intense recovery programs and drug testing under “intensive supervision.”
However, if he is not accepted, he could return to jail.
“If you are not accepted into it, then if I bring you back, unfortunately, I will have to sentence you to jail time,” the judge said. “So let’s bring you back in 30 days to allow the application process to be completed, and the evaluation process to be done. And I hope Mr. Lange if you are accepted to the program you take full advantage of it. Because it will be able to help you.”
Lange insisted he didn’t do cocaine, and is clean from heroin.
“I wouldn't be arrogant to come in here and use cocaine for two days knowing I had to be here. It's in my system. It shouldn't be,” he said. “Heroin is out of my life. I'm happy about that and anything you say. And I respect the court.”
The next court hearing was scheduled for January 11.
He then announced he was returning to inpatient rehab, though the comic has been performing at clubs in the New York area since the treatment confession.
Sadly, the tragic star has so far been unable to hold up his end of the bargain.
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