Chalk up another legal victory for Sean "P. Diddy" Combs.
Charges against the hip-hop mogul for driving a scooter illegally while in Miami last spring were dismissed in court Wednesday (September 5).
Judge Sheldon Schwartz ruled that Florida's laws for mopeds, which allow for passing in a single lane, applied to the rapper, rather than the more strict motorcycle laws, Combs' attorney, Jane Weintraub, said after the court date. Combs, whose presence was not required, faced a $62 fine and points on his driving record.
Although Weintraub said in June she expected the judge to drop the charges when he heard her case (see "P. Diddy To 'Pull Out All The Stops' To Fight Scooter Ticket"), she came Wednesday prepared to go to trial. She brought several witnesses, but Schwartz dropped the charges before they could testify.
"The officer who arrested him decided to treat Puffy differently that night because he is a celebrity," Weintraub said. "Reporters were asking me why he didn't just plead guilty and avoid going before a judge. Why should he have
this on his record? He didn't do anything wrong."
Combs was driving down South Beach's Ocean Drive on April 14 when he was pulled over by Miami police. He was originally charged with driving with a suspended license, but those charges were dropped when he later proved he
had a valid license.
Earlier this year, Combs was acquitted of weapons and bribery charges stemming from a 1999 nightclub shooting in New York.
The rapper has not escaped all of his legal problems, however. A Long Island, New York, judge fined him $350 on Tuesday for chopping down protected vegetation around his Hamptons home.
Combs missed nine court dates before finally pleading guilty to one count of clearing in a conservation area, according to the Associated Press. "I couldn't get here sooner because I've been traveling and out of the country and very busy," he told the AP. "But I paid the fine. I'm a great neighbor."
And in Miami, prosecutors are still deciding whether to charge Combs with running a red light and almost hitting a pedestrian while driving a Ferrari in June (see "Mo' Problems: Miami Police Seek P. Diddy For Reckless Driving").