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Baseball legend arrested for drugged driving in New Jersey

A former World Series champion with a history of drug and alcohol problems has been arrested and charged, according to local sources. Dwight "Doc" Gooden, a pitching star for the Amazin' Mets of 1986 World Series fame, was arrested in New Jersey for cocaine possession and drugged driving. He was slated to make his first appearance in court on July 23.

According to the arrest record, the 54-year-old former MLB star was pulled over in Holmdel on June 7 after officers on the scene say they noticed him driving well under the speed limit. The report goes on to say police found two green baggies allegedly containing cocaine, but no mention was made of the process that led to a search of the man or his vehicle. There was also no mention in the report of why police believed him to be driving under the influence. 

Unfortunately, Gooden has a history with drug and alcohol addiction, culminating in a 1995 season suspension for a failed drug test. He also served time in prison in 2006 for violating probation. While these facts cannot be used to infer guilt in his current legal battle, his previous struggles with addiction may be useful to his criminal defense representation when building his case. 

Alcohol and drug addiction affect millions of Americans, both here in New Jersey and elsewhere. When an individual is arrested with regard to claims of substance abuse such as drugged driving, it is not uncommon for criminal defense attorneys to highlight a history of the illness of addiction. In certain cases and depending upon the particular facts presented, the defense may choose to negotiate a plea bargain under the understanding that the accused individual will submit to court-mandated rehabilitation. 

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