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Busted!: Drug War Survival Skills: From the Buy to the Bust to Begging for Mercy


Busted! is a funny, smart, subversive worst-case scenario guide for casual drug users and their tolerant friends.It's the Bible on how not to get busted and what to do if you are. Using celebrity busts, outrageous everyman busts, and the author's professional experience, Busted! is everything you need to know about the criminal justice system, Drug War style, before it's too late.

Like a Law & Order episode, the book takes the reader through a typical small-time drug ...

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Busted! is a funny, smart, subversive worst-case scenario guide for casual drug users and their tolerant friends.It's the Bible on how not to get busted and what to do if you are. Using celebrity busts, outrageous everyman busts, and the author's professional experience, Busted! is everything you need to know about the criminal justice system, Drug War style, before it's too late.

Like a Law & Order episode, the book takes the reader through a typical small-time drug possession case from committing the crime (the buy/recommending a dealer), to handling police encounters like a pro, to getting busted, to spending a night in jail, to fighting your drug bust, to pleading guilty, through trials and appeals, and, finally, punishment - with irreverent humor and expert advice all the way to the bitter end.

Busted! also includes drug possession law for the house party, the rave, your roommate's stash; search and seizure on the street, in your ride, in your apartment, and up your ass. Drug War Driving Lessons covers DUI's and drugged driving; also learn how to make your phone call from jail count, how to ace your bail hearing, and protect your Internet privacy. The Dope Law Index includes possession law for marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and methamphetamine for all 50 states. BUSTED! helps the casual drug user to know his rights, walk the thin grey line between legal and illegal and ultimately stay out of jail.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060754594
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/9/2005
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 970,774
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.12 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

M. Chris Fabricant graduated with honors from the George Washington University Law School. After two years as a pro se law clerk in Manhattan's federal district court, he began his career as a criminal defense attorney.

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Read an Excerpt


Drug War Survival Skills: From the Buy to the Bust to Begging for Mercy
By M. Fabricant

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 M. Fabricant
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060754591

Chapter One

Everything You Need To Know About Drug and Drug Paraphernalia Possession

There are almost as many ways to get nabbed for possession as there are drugs to possess, and all methods offer the same result in the same order: bust, strip search, jail, body-cavity search (oh, yeah), guilty plea, more jail, criminal record. Rinse. Repeat if necessary.

Drug-possession law ought to be simple enough: Have drugs, will get busted. And it's often that simple. But what if it's just some stems and seeds, or some flaky white stuff in a Baggie? What if some bastard sold you a bag of baby powder and called it cocaine?

What about that dope you stashed in your girl's panties? What if those are your panties? And who's on the hook for the fat lines on the drafting table at the "fashion show" that just got busted? How about the fatty in the ashtray of the Cooper-nowhere-to-hide-Mini that just got pulled over? Or the weed growing in your roommate's closet?

And how can you get busted on a paraphernalia charge when you bought that bong in a legit store and paid your damn sales tax? Maybe you just connected a friend to a source, or drove her to her dealer on your way to Sunday school. What do you mean she OD'd? Manslaughter?! All I did was pass on a beeper number! Maybe it's time you went to the emergency room yourself?

My God, the dope is everywhere ... I' m going to need a lawyer.

But Those Are Just Stems and Seeds, Man!

Drugs do not necessarily have to be of sufficient quantity or quality to get you high to get you busted for possession. Flakes of coke, nine pot seeds, a single crystal of meth, baby marijuana plants, bong resin, and needles with traces of smack have all been enough dope to make the bust stick, so long as the bustee was aware that it was dope. Awareness is usually inferred by where the drugs were found. It's assumed that you're aware of what you've got in your drawers.

As was the case with Mr. Scott, possession busts for not possessing drugs are most frequently visited upon those who are suspected of dealing and parolees caught with paraphernalia, or who flunk a drug test (see "Drug Test?" page 191); but such busts are also visited upon those caught eating the stash, or who successfully flushed the bulk of the dope down the drain enraging the police and making them determined to bring the pain, one way or another (see "Eating the Stash" page 87).

Some states require a "usable amount" of a narcotic, rather than a "detectable amount." In those states, an expert will testify that although she never does dope, has never done dope, and hates everyone that does dope, the dope that you had was sufficient to have had an "exciting effect" and was therefore "usable." The reality, though, is that any measurable amount is sufficient.

The lesson here is to lick your Baggies clean, throw them away, and break out the Dustbuster.

Fool's Dope

So you went down to Washington Square Park and scored yourself a dime bag of parsley from the droopy Jamaican cat. Nice. Perhaps you paid some jittery basehead a hundred bucks at the circuit party for a couple of aspirins with happy faces. Can you get busted for parsley possession? Of course! It's the Drug War! It's not supposed to be fair. In the drugpossession game, it's buyer beware. You may get fugazied, but the judge will not pity you. In most states, you will get busted for attempted possession. The dirty deed is done as soon as you pay for what you thought was dope.

A fool's dope bust will not usually befall you unless you score from a cop. (You can never trust those bastards.) If you're nabbed doing a big bong hit of tobacco that you thought was herb, for example, the chances are good you won't be prosecuted for giving yourself a migraine. But don't count on it. (See "Paraphernalia," page 41.)

Possessing the Good Shit

When is an eight ball not an eight ball? When you buy retail. Not when you get busted. Eight balls that are in reality two balls -- mostly baking soda and enough speed to give you a headache -- are still eight balls in the criminal justice system. You will be charged with possessing an eighth of an ounce of coke. In general, anything that you were planning to snort, smoke, suck, or jam in your vein counts toward the total weight of the drug.

But the Drug War can always get you coming and going. The lower down the food chain you are, the lower the quality of your dope should be. So if you have some very good shit, the uncut stuff your typical work-hard-play-hard Wall Street junkie doesn't come across, the DA will take that into account when he's deciding whether to charge you with simple possession (bad) or possession with intent to distribute (much worse). The difference is usually about five years. The better the dope, the more years. So if you like your shit good, you've been warned. (To avoid distribution charges, aside from simply buying down-market, see "If You're Keeping Dope Around ... ," page 22.)


Excerpted from Busted! by M. Fabricant Copyright © 2005 by M. Fabricant. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2007

    Praise the Bible

    One's first response after finishing the final pages of Washington, DC, defense attorney Chris Fabricant's 'Busted' is: 'Wow, what a cynical, callous, cold-hearted son of a bitch this guy is.' But that's unfair. It is not Chris Fabricant who deserves the list of alliterative pejorative adjectives, but the criminal justice system he is describing. Perhaps the rest of the criminal justice system is a beacon of truth and decency -- somehow I doubt it -- but Fabricant is describing the drug war criminal justice apparatus, and it certainly lives up to its billing as a crime against humanity. Chris Fabricant wants to keep you out of that cesspool, and if you're too dumb to avoid that, he wants you to get through your encounter with institutional evil with the least pain possible. Fabricant covers all the bases in a snappy, informal style replete with scary but true illustrative anecdotes. What do you do if you're keeping dope in the house? What if your roommate is keeping dope in the house? What if your roommate is selling drugs? What if someone ODs at your party? What if your party is so loud and outrageous the cops are bound to show up? What if you are so loud and outrageous the cops are bound to pick on you? What if you're driving stoned? Fabricant goes through all these scenarios and many more. Like a good defense attorney (or South Park's Mr. Mackey), Fabricant makes clear that drugs are bad, m'kay? You shouldn't use them. They are against the law. But, as a defense attorney, Fabricant knows full well millions of this people in this country aren't going to heed his sage advice, and this book is designed to make life more pleasant for those who do use drugs. To that end, he has created his own list of dopers' Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not deal. Thou shalt not do dope with kiddies. If thou art a kiddy, thou shalt not do dope. Thou shalt not covet more than a misdemeanor buzz. Thou shalt not piss away thy rights. (In other words, shut up and never consent to a search!) Thou shall be calm. Thou shalt not piss off the police. Ye get busted, ye shall never get busted again. Thou shall leave thy dope at home. Know thy friends mistrust thy enemies. Thou shalt check thy look in the mirror. 'Busted' is full of horror stories about people who broke the commandments. While much of the book is devoted to stopping people from doing that and getting themselves arrested, Fabricant also devotes plenty of space to the hideous consequences of a drug arrest and conviction (which almost always follows), from the anal cavity search to the vomit and shit-filled holding cells to getting your head smashed in (and new charges added) for 'resisting arrest.' That section makes some particularly glum reading, as Fabricant shows how judges give a thumbs-up to all kinds of police thuggery and brutality under the 'resisting arrest' excuse. He also provides a look at suppression hearings, plea bargains, and trials whose breath-taking cynicism is matched only by the mindless cruelty of the drug war machine at work, relentlessly grinding human beings under its wheels. The title of his chapter on going to trial, 'Your Quick and Painful Jury Trial,' speaks for itself. One of Fabricant's more fascinating chapters is 'Fighting Your Drug Bust by Rush Limbaugh.' No, it isn't really authored by the right-wing radio ranter, but for Fabricant, Limbaugh's aggressive (and well-financed) defense of himself in the face of potential pill-popping and doctor-shopping charges is a case study in how to do it right. While those from the left and some others may think of Limbaugh as a 'fascist asshole' or 'hillbilly heroin junkie,' for Fabricant, the more appropriate sobriquet is 'the Guru, the sage, the Drug War Buddha.' Limbaugh, says Fabricant, played it smart by: choosing his dope wisely (prescription pills are not viewed as as evil as heroin), protecting his privacy, distancing himself from his dope supply (if only we all had maids to go out

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2005

    Hilarious and Legally Accurate

    This book is really, really funny, and also incredibly accurate. I do criminal defense and I'm giving this to all my colleagues as a Xmas gift. It says what I try to say to my pot-head clients (and friends) but so much better.

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