Attorney Arrested on Drug Charges Enters Treatment Program

Was Allegedly Observed Purchasing Heroin in 2008

Alan Karow, a local defense attorney who was arrested on drug charges on December 22, 2008, has entered a pre-conviction drug treatment program, and if he completes the program, the charges against him will be dropped.

Karow, who was in court for a sentencing hearing today, was the target of a weeks-long investigation when he was allegedly observed by detectives purchasing heroin outside a home in Carpinteria. He was arrested blocks away in his car, where he was allegedly preparing to smoke the drug. Karow, according to a press release from Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Drew Sugars at the time of the arrest, was also suspected of showing up to court under the influence on occasion.

Since his arrest, Karow has been making his way through the court system, and has already begun the Substance Abuse Treatment Program, an intensive 18-month outpatient program which includes four day a week group therapy, random drug testing, and individual therapy. “He’s done everything he’s supposed to do,” said prosecutor Aimee Libeu, who said Karow was treated just as any other defendant in his position would be.

Karow—who has had drug-related run-ins with the law in the past—has also been in touch with the California Bar Association about his position, Libeu said. In 1997, Karow was suspended from practicing law for three months for “failure to perform competently” and failing to appear on behalf of clients three separate times. He was abusing drugs at that time, and was “faced with very serious personal, emotional, and psychological problems during the period of his misconduct,” according to the California Bar Journal. He reportedly “expressed remorse” for his actions.

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