Love Pleads Not Guilty To Felony Drug Charges, Asks For Rehab

Singer could face almost four years in jail if convicted.

Courtney Love pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of drug possession in Los Angeles County Superior Court Wednesday morning (November 12).

At her arraignment, the former Hole singer asked to be considered for a program that allows nonviolent drug offenders to receive treatment instead of jail time.

"First they have to do a report to see if she's eligible for the program," said Jane Robison, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles district attorney's office. Prior felony convictions can prevent people from taking advantage of the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, passed by voters in 2000, and Robison said it was unknown whether Love had any in California.

Love is due back in court December 11 to find out if she qualifies. If she does, like Velvet Revolver singer Scott Weiland, Love will be required to immediately attend some combination of drug and alcohol rehabilitation and an aftercare program (see "Scott Weiland To Enter Rehab Immediately, By Order Of Judge").

Just hours after police arrested her on October 2 for a misdemeanor count of being under the influence of a controlled substance, authorities were called to Love's Beverly Hills home for a medical emergency (see "Courtney Love Rushed To Hospital For Drug OD Following Arrest"). Police found Love with an unspecified amount of the prescription painkillers hydrocodone and oxycodone.

Love admitted to overdosing on the prescription painkiller OxyContin and turned herself in to Los Angeles authorities two weeks ago to face the felony possession charges (see "Courtney Love Turns Herself In On Felony Drug Charges"). In a post since deleted from her Web site, Love claimed that in an effort to calm her down after the arrest outside the home of her former boyfriend/manager, someone handed her the painkillers, then "shoved" more than 10 times the normal dosage of the pills in her mouth.

The felony possession counts cannot be combined with the misdemeanor case because the charges are being handled by different prosecutors in different cities, but Love may be eligible for diversion to rehab in the misdemeanor case as well. The maximum penalty for conviction on both felony charges is three years and eight months in jail. The penalty for the misdemeanor charge ranges from 90 days to one year in county jail. Love is due in court for arraignment on the misdemeanor charge on Friday.

In the aftermath of the arrests and charges, Love has been embroiled in a custody battle over Frances Bean, her daughter with late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain (see "Courtney Love Fighting For Custody Of Daughter Frances Bean"). The 11-year-old has been in the custody of a nanny for several weeks, and Love was ordered to leave her Beverly Hills home but has been allowed visitation rights.

In the same deleted post, Love claimed that the day after her arrest, a caseworker from Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services came to her home and searched the residence. Love also claimed to have turned over all the pills she had in the house, which included an unspecified amount of the sleeping pills and painkillers. A spokesperson for Children and Family Services said the agency is not allowed to discuss its cases.