Justin Bieber’s DUI case delayed until August 5 as the singer’s lawyers and Florida prosecutors request more time to hammer out a possible plea deal.
Justin Bieber’s Miami DUI case is delayed once more, as the singer’s lawyers and Florida prosecutors said Wednesday that they need more time to work out a possible plea deal.
Bieber attorney Mark Shapiro and Assistant State Attorney David Gilbert asked for another three weeks. Miami-Dade County Court Judge William Altfield moved the trial date from July 7 to August 5.
It was previously postponed from May 5, when the defense led by famed criminal defense attorney Roy Black said his team needed more time to work out how to proceed in the case.
The Biebs had been expected to be present to plead guilty to reckless driving at the July 16 court hearing, but requesting a new trial date and more time for bargaining are matters for lawyers not defendants. Accordingly, the singer was not in court.
The Associated Press reports Gilbert told the judge both sides would update him on August 5 as to how plea deal negotiations were going and “and set a trial date, if necessary.”
“It’s pretty much status quo,” Shapiro told AP.
On January 29, Bieber pleaded not guilty through his lawyer to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest without violence and driving with an expired licence.
This followed Bieber’s January 23 arrest on suspicion of DUI in what police called an illegal street race in Miami Beach, with co-arrestee R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff.
Two completed Breathalyzer tests found Bieber’s blood alcohol level was below Florida’s 0.02 limit for underage drivers. But the singer tested positive for the active ingredient in marijuana and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax after providing urine samples.
Since then, there have been numerous not exactly false, but pre-emptive, reports from as far back as March claiming Bieber’s legal team had rejected a plea deal. Later that month, Black told Radar Online no plea deal had been made.
However, that is clearly not the case.
It’s reported Bieber’s camp are keen to avoid the spectacle of a public trial, while Miami — like many other states — typically offers first time DUI offenders a “DUI Diversion Program” which included variants such as probation, anger management and other options.
Earlier this month, Bieber lightened his legal load by pleading no contest to a misdemeanor vandalism charge for throwing eggs at his ex-neighbor’s house in Los Angeles. The singer has been given two-years probation, ordered to pay over $80,000 damages as well as other terms in the plea bargain.
The 20-year-old is also charged in Toronto, Canada of assaulting a limousine driver in last December. Bieber’s lawyers previously said he is innocent of the charge.
In a further case in Miami, although civil not criminal, Bieber is being sued by a paparazzo who claims he was assaulted by Justin’s bodyguards allegedly on the singer’s orders, after he was spotted taking photos of the Canadian outside The Hit Factory Recording studio last June.
Bieber has been judge-ordered to attend a second deposition in that case following evasive behavior in an infamous, deposition on March 6.