Justin Bieber and his legal team have allegedly failed to agree a plea deal with Miami Beach prosecutors in his DUI case, which would have required random drug testing and stringent terms but keep the singer out of jail. As a result, it’s reported a trial is now likely.
According to TMZ, prosecutors offered the 19-year-old a deal in exchange for a no contest plea to reckless driving after his January 23 arrest for suspected DUI, while allegedly drag racing with co-arrestee Khalil Amir Sharieff. Bieber previously pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence, resisting arrest without violence, and driving with an expired license last month.
The outlet reports authorities were prepared to drop the DUI and resisting arrest charges if Bieber took the no contest plea and agreed to random drug testing for between six to nine months, as well as other typical terms for first-time DUI.
Citing unnamed sources connected to Bieber, the site claims the teen singer and his team will not accept any plea deal that comes with probationary terms, especially random drug testing.
TMZ adds law enforcement sources said Miami prosecutors are refusing to deal if Justin won’t accept random drug testing. A related toxicology report revealed marijuana and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax were present in Bieber’s system at the time of his arrest.
Since both sides have reportedly rejected the negotiations of the other, the state of play is said to be at deadlock.
It’s claimed the next step is a trial unless a plea deal agreement can be reached.
Previous terms on the table allegedly included: completion of 40 hours of community service, an alcohol education course, installation of an ignition interlock device for three months, and attendance at a “victim impact panel” where relatives of DUI victims share their experiences.
Bieber would have also had to inform the court of his travel plans to lock in with officials for mandatory random drug testing. Providing these tests were passed and terms of the first plea deal offered were fulfilled, the Canadian’s reduced plea would have become official.
If a trial goes forward, what’s at stake?
Justin could be on the hook for all three charges: DUI, resisting arrest, and driving with an expired license. The maximum, though unlikely penalty, is 2 1/2 years in jail.
It’s claimed law enforcement sources are aware of the case’s weak spots.
Statements from officers in the police report claimed they could smell alcohol on Bieber at the roadside during his arrest, and “reeked” of it in a patrol car ride to Miami Beach police station for booking and processing.
In reality, the heartthrob blew a 0.011 and 0.014 – a negligible blood alcohol concentration – so it’s possible the officer(s) either made a mistake, exaggerated, or lied.
Officer Steve Cosner – who allegedly has a history of misconduct – claimed he saw Bieber and Sharieff drag racing at between 55-60 MPH. But GPS devices in Justin’s Lamborghini and Khalil’s Ferrari reportedly registered 27 MPH in a 30 MPH zone when the police spotted them.
Despite these concerns, TMZ claims prosecutors are not afraid to try the case. Equally, Justin’s high-profile attorney — Roy Black — is said to be ready for a courtroom fight.
A previously scheduled March 3 trial date had been pushed back by Judge William Altfield while he reviews jail videos of Bieber, due to objections from the singer’s lawyers to footage showing him urinating for a drug test and other semi-naked content being released. News media organizations argued for minimal redaction at a hearing last week.
Add your comments below.