The guilty verdicts this week for two of Anna Nicole Smith's closest confidantes in a trial that focused on the former Playboy model's drug use are unlikely to lead to any jail time, legal experts said today.
"It really was a complete waste of time and effort," noted criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos told "Good Morning America."
"I suspect if not but for Anna Nicole Smith, this case would never have been prosecuted."
Stern was found guilty of giving false names and acting by fraud to obtain prescriptions, the Associated Press reported. Eroshevich also was convicted of unlawfully prescribing painkiller Vicodin by fraud. Sentencing is scheduled for early next year.
Although the two could face up to three years in prison, Geragos and former prosecutor Robin Sax predicted jail time was unlikely. Both considered the trial a win for the defense despite the guilty verdicts because they were handed down on a scant few of the many charges against them, the others much more serious
"Of all the counts, that was it? Not so much of a win," Sax said. "Here you only have a conviction based on one incident based in November 2006 when Howard Stern's name was used on a prescription."
The verdicts, however, could mean the loss of Stern's law license and Eroshevich's medical license. Smith's primary doctor, Sandeep Kapoor, was acquitted of all charges.
Lawyers for Stern, Kapoor and Eroshevich had argued during the trial that their clients were not guilty because they were only helping someone with documented pain and depression.
Geragos suggested that the judge, who often seemed irritated with the prosecution during the course of the trial, could go so far as to throw out the entire case.
"He wasn't impressed with the prosecution because there wasn't much to be impressed by," he said.
As for Stern's obtaining Smith's prescriptions under his own name, Sax said, welcome to Hollywood.
Geragos said it was not uncommon in Hollywood for celebrities to get their medications under someone else's name for privacy reasons.
"It's a way of protecting yourself," he said.
Smith had a knack for both stealing the spotlight and creating a train wreck of her life. She was found dead of a prescription drug overdose in a Florida hotel in February 2007. Her official cause of death was listed as the combined effects from nine different prescription drugs, including Valium and Atavan.
"The message is clear," ABC News legal analyst Dana Cole said. "You cannot give drugs to a known addict -- and her whole public perception was that she was a drug-crazed, drug-addicted individual."
Smith's death was one of the first of a string of notable Hollywood deaths by prescription drugs, including Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown said the trend must stop.
"Just because it's in a nice little package and has a name on it and a date and a doctor's name under it, doesn't mean that it can't kill you," he said.
Smith also was to blame, the prosecution said. They claimed that Smith was also guilty in a conspiracy and that she may have traded sex for drugs.
Smith's troubles with prescription drugs were well known. Though her reality show earned high ratings, she made headlines for appearing intoxicated in public, including at the 2004 American Music Awards.
In an exclusive interview 10 years ago, Smith told ABC News that she had serious drug problems.
"I was on prescription pain medication and I was taking too much and I went into a coma for that," she said.
ABC News' Michael S. James and The Associated Press contributed to this report.