While Justin Bieber decompresses on a Panama beach after a wild week in Miami, a prosecutor will decide if the teen pop star will face a felony charge in Los Angeles.
Detectives who went frame by frame over security video seized from Bieber’s California mansion are close to carrying their egg attack evidence to the Los Angeles district attorney for a decision. While Bieber’s drunken driving arrest in Miami Beach on Thursday earned him his first mug shot, a felony vandalism case could be the biggest threat to Bieber’s freedom and ability to tour the world.
“We will have a dialogue with the district attorney and determine, based on what we have, when we should bring the case over,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. David Thompson told CNN on Friday. “We will then take the case to the D.A. It will be up to them to file charges and what charges at that time.” Although a felony could carry jail time, probation appears much more likely if Bieber is ultimately convicted. Chris Brown, who pleaded guilty to assaulting Rihanna on the eve of the Grammys five years ago avoided time in a California jail despite the violence involved in the beating of his girlfriend.
But the five years of probation for Brown has proven to be a major hindrance to his music career. He is now in court-ordered rehab for three months and will have to spend several days each week until August working on a community labor crew to complete his probation requirements.
5 questions about the case
As with actress Lindsay Lohan, Brown has been found in violation of probation rules several times, resulting in additional travel limitations, rehab stints and work requirements. Probation could have Bieber walking on egg shells for several years if he is convicted of launching eggs over a fence onto his neighbor’s mansion. His probation officer would possibly have to approve any travel outside of California, which could hamper the world touring that contributes to his income and fame.
Although Breathalyzer tests suggest Bieber was not too drunk to legally drive when he was pulled over by Miami Beach police early Thursday, it could be two or three weeks before tests are back from the lab which should give a more accurate blood-alcohol reading and could tell if he was high on pot. Bieber blew .011 and .014 in two Breathalyzer tests given to him at the police station, according to a source with knowledge of the results. Florida’s legal limit for drivers under the drinking age of 21 is .02. The police report said that Bieber failed a field sobriety test given to him at the police station. He admitted to drinking, using marijuana and taking prescription pills, police said.
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The Miami prosecutor said no date has been set yet for Bieber to return to court on the DUI, resisting arrest and expired license charges.
Although Bieber was not charged with speeding, the arresting officer said it was his reason for stopping Bieber and testing his sobriety.
The head of the exotic car rental company that owns the yellow Lamborghini he was driving told CNN on Saturday that the GPS tracking system in the high-performance car indicated that Bieber never exceeded 55 mph in the 15 minutes before the stop.
The Breathalyzer tests and the GPS information could help Bieber lawyer Roy Black in his defense of the singer.
Bieber fled Miami late Friday, boarding a private jet for a flight to Panama City, Panama. Paparazzi photos showed Bieber strolling along a beach on the Pacific Ocean on Saturday, kicking a soccer ball while others kite surfed above the waves.
He could learn this week if his next trip is to a Los Angeles courtroom.