Law Enforcement Sources Say Bieber Offered Plea Deal in Florida DUI Case

Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins

According to multiple media outlets, Justin Bieber was reportedly offered a plea deal in his Florida DUI case where he has the possibility of avoiding jail time.  According to the apparent deal, Bieber would plead no contest to reckless driving and in exchange would not have to go to jail.  It appears that instead he would be on probation for six to nine months, complete 40 hours of community service, attend an alcohol education course, attend a victim impact panel and have an interlock device installed on any vehicles he would be driving.  Also included in the terms of the deal is that he must tell the court where he is in the world at all times and submit to random drug testing at his own expense, including paying for testers to come to his location to test him.  Some reports are saying that Bieber may reject the offer being given by the Florida State Attorney.  The reports speculated that he doesn't want to get into additional trouble for possible probation violations like some other celebrities with recent legal problems such as Lindsay Lohan.

Bieber and his attorneys may be wise in rejecting this offer, because in reality it isn't a particularly good one for a first time offender in a case that is as weak as Bieber's is.  While many people believe that being caught for drinking and driving means an automatic jail sentence, this is not always the case.  Often for a first time offense, jail time is not the norm at all, especially in a case that lacks extreme circumstances such as Bieber's charge.

Bieber had a blood alcohol level below what the legal limit was for someone under 21, meaning that the charge that he was drinking and driving is not supported.  Some reports show that his BAC was as low as .018%, meaning that there could be a flaw in the arresting officer's report that Bieber smelled of alcohol at the time of his arrest.

While prescription drugs and marijuana showed up in Bieber's system, proving that he was under the influence of either of these things at the time he was driving could also be problematic for the Florida State Attorney.  Because the arresting officer claimed the smell of alcohol was on Bieber's breath at the time of arrest when it likely wasn't, a good defense attorney can easily argue that the officer could have also been wrong about other subjective things such as the possibility of Bieber showing the signs of being under the influence.  Also, while Bieber admitted that he had been using those drugs earlier in the evening, it is not proof that he was actually impaired when he was arrested. 

Regardless of what people's personal opinions of Justin Bieber may be and the public demand that he serve a harsh sentence for his alleged DUI, he is still subject to the same burden of proof and sentencing guidelines as any other first time DUI defendant.  For a case of someone who was not involved in an accident where there is weaker evidence of impairment, it is unlikely that he would normally be sentenced to much more than the State Attorney is offering him in his plea deal anyway.  For this reason, he may be better off fighting the case in court.