It’s official: Justin Bieber will have to enroll in anger-management courses as a result of a plea deal in his Miami DUI case. Though the singer did not have to appear in court on Wednesday, Justin’s lawyers announced a deal with prosecutors to spare the star any jail time in the case.
CNN reported that Bieber, 20, made a $50,000 donation to the “Our Kids” charity, agreed to get 12 hours of private anger-management counseling and attend a program that teaches about the impact of drunken driving on victims as part of the plea deal. In exchange, a judge accepted Beiber’s guilty plea to misdemeanor counts of careless driving and resisting arrest during an incident in January where police said they suspected the star was intoxicated after they pulled him over for speeding down a residential Miami Beach street.
Though Justin was not in the courtroom, Judge William Altfield delivered a lecture that he hoped Bieber’s lawyers would pass on. “I hope that he realizes that his actions not only lead to consequences that affect him, but they lead to consequences that affect others who are looking up to him as a role model,” Altfield said.
CNN also noted that despite the fact that Bieber’s never been charged with a felony crime or drug charge and never been in rehab, Altfield compared him to Robert Downey Jr., who struggled with substance abuse and wild behavior in his younger days. Altfield said Downey got into trouble, “because of the drugs, because of the alcohol, because of the fame, because of all of the pressures that he had on a daily basis and look at what he’s done with his life. He turned himself around… Here is someone [Bieber] who is young. His whole life is ahead of him and he just hopefully will get the message. He will grow up. He will use all of his talents positively for young persons.”
The lead prosecutor in the case told the network in a written statement that the “strengths and weaknesses” of the case let both sides to agree to a plea deal. “The ultimate purpose of the Miami Beach Police Department’s initial traffic stop was to end some rash juvenile type conduct before a tragedy occurred,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “The intervention and counseling parts of the plea should provide a pathway toward adult responsibility.”
As you might recall, in January, Miami Beach police arrested Bieber and friend Khalil Sharieff after the pair allegedly drag-raced their rented cars down a residential street that had been blocked off by the singer’s security detail. Bieber told police that he had been smoking marijuana and had taken prescription medication that day, with a urine screen testing positive for pot and Xanax.
Though he was not charged with drag racing, police said the sound of high-end vehicles revving their engines from 0-40 m.p.h. on a residential street at 4 a.m. got their attention. When they pulled Bieber’s rented Lambo over, officers said they smelled alcohol — a test showed just trace amounts in Justin’s system — and they arrested him on suspicion of DUI, resisting arrest without violence (reportedly because he refused to take his hands out of his pockets as requested by police) and driving on a Georgia license that expired six months earlier.
Last month, Bieber pleaded no contest to egging a neighbor’s California home. In that case, Justin avoided potential jail time and felony charges by agreeing to two years of probation and enrollment in an anger-management class, as well as five days of community service and $80,900 in restitution.