Although rumors of Justin Bieber taking a plea bargain for driving under the influence and other charges have been circulating since the pop sensation was arrested in Miami in late January, the case was delayed last week until July. Bieber's attorney had initially asked for a 60-day delay from the May 5th trial date to have more time to evaluate evidence and discuss whether or not to accept a plea deal. A Miami-Dade County Judge delayed the trial until July 7th.
Bieber, who was not present when his attorney requested the delay, was arrested on January 23rd in Miami Beach after he was allegedly involved in illegal street racing in a rented Lamborghini. While Bieber wasn't charged for street racing, he and a friend were arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). Bieber racked up additional charged for resisting arrest and driving with an expired license.
Bieber has pleaded not guilty, although he admitted to police that he had been smoking marijuana. Chemical tests also revealed that Bieber – who is under the age of 21 – had a blood alcohol level below the .02 limit for underage drivers. He also had Xanax in his system and videos from his arrest show Bieber walking unsteadily during sobriety tests.
Bieber's attorney has stated that if the case were to proceed to trial, it is likely that these chemical tests would be challenged. Most people in Bieber's position – particularly celebrities and high-net-worth individuals – often accept plea deals rather than taking a case to trial. Trial could potentially subject Bieber to harsher penalties, including possible jail time. Bieber's attorney offered no indication regarding whether Bieber would accept a deal.
By following Justin Bieber's DUI case, as we've been doing in recent blogs, we've been able to point out things that can serve as helpful reminders to anyone charged with driving under the influence. For one, it's always best to watch what you say when you've been stopped or arrested. It is also extremely important to treat officers with respect and to avoid posting social media updates about events or circumstances surrounding an arrest. These are the issues that have complicated Bieber's case, and which could potentially lead to serious penalties.