Last week, TMZ announced that it appeared that pop star Justin Bieber has reached a plea deal with prosecutors for a DUI charge that he was facing in Miami from a January arrest. At the time of the arrest, officers claimed that Bieber was drag racing and was drunk. Evidence showed that Bieber may not have actually been drunk that night and may not have actually been drag racing, making it look unlikely that he would be prosecuted for either of those things.
Notably, Bieber will not be pleading guilty to any DUI charge. He will be pleading guilty instead to reckless driving and will have a relatively light sentence. Bieber will not be serving any jail time and will not have any probation. Instead, he will have to take anger management classes and will have to pay a fine. According to many news outlets, the reckless driving conviction will be taken off of Bieber’s record once he has net the requirements of the agreement.
While there are many who are disappointed in the outcome of this case because they wished to see Bieber go to jail, it is actually not a surprising result considering that Justin Bieber’s DUI arrest was his first and the evidence against him was weak. One test showed that his BAC at the time of his arrest was only .01, below the legal limit of someone under 21 of .02 and a limit that is far from any impairment. The charge that he was drag racing was also questionable as surveillance footage did not exactly clearly show that he was actually drag racing that night. Additionally, it is common for first time offenders to have much lighter sentences in a case like this.
According to TMZ at least, there were a few sticking points when coming up with this plea agreement. Bieber did not want probation, violations of which famously led Lindsay Lohan to multiple jail stays. The judge also wanted Bieber to film an anti-drug PSA; something that his lawyers argued would have amounted to an inappropriate admission that he was illegally taking drugs or alcohol. This same reasoning is why Bieber rejected taking drug or alcohol courses or rehab.
The outcome is definitely on the light end for a sentence for drinking and driving or even reckless driving, but was probably agreed upon to keep both parties from having to participate in a trial. With some evidence being weak, it would have been very possible that Bieber would escape with no penalty at all. With the high amount of media attention on the case, it would have not been in Bieber’s best interest to deal with a trial because it would have had a negative impact on his image. The result seems to be a plea that will most likely enrage most of the public.
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