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Justin Bieber avoids DUI, pleads guilty to lesser charge

Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber
Photo by Angela Weiss

Justin Bieber, the 20-year-old pop singer from Canada, was not in a Miami court on Wednesday when a deal was struck to handle the DUI charges against him. During the court non-appearance, the singer made a $50,000 donation to a youth charity as part of a plea deal to keep the drunken driving charges off his record, according to ABC News on Wednesday. A judge accepted Bieber’s guilty plea to careless driving and resisting arrest. The charges were filed against him in Miami Beach, Florida, some seven months ago.

Via the agreement, prosecutors dropped the drunken driving charge. In the agreement, besides making the donation to the “Our Kids” organization, Bieber must get 12 hours of anger management counseling. Additionally, he must attend a program that teaches about the impact of drunken driving on victims.

Even though it was a prosecution demand, the charity donation could not legally be required in the plea deal in court, said a prosecutor during the hearing. Therefore, the payment to “Our Kids” organization for $50,000 was made prior to the judge accepting the agreement between Bieber’s team and the prosecutors. It is reported that the judge – Judge William Altfield – lectured Bieber even though he wasn’t in the court room. Altfield hoped that the lawyers representing the pop star would relay his lecture to Bieber.

Judge Altfield asked Bieber to be a better role model for his many young fans. He said that he hopes that he realizes that his actions not only lead to consequences that affect him, but his actions lead to consequences that affect others who are looking up to him as a role model. The judge went on to comparing Bieber to Robert Downey Jr., the famous actor, even though Bieber has never been charged with a felony crime or a drug charge – nor has Bieber ever been in drug or alcohol rehab.

The judge aptly pointed out that Downey Jr. was able to turn himself around, in spite of past troubles with drugs, alcohol, and the ill-handling of fame. Altfeld said of Bieber, “Here is someone who is young. His whole life is ahead of him and e just hopefully will get the message. He will grow up. He will use all of his talents positively for young persons. The lead prosecutor in the case told CNN that the strengths and weaknesses of the case led both parties to agree to the plea deal.

Bieber was arrested by Miami Beach Police on January 23. He was arrested after being seen driving a yellow Lamborghini in a race against a red Ferrari in a residential area. Bieber, as well as the other vehicle’s driver, were traveling at approximately 55 to 60 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone. Bieber failed a sobriety test at the time and was quite argumentative with authorities during his arrest. Incidentally, Bieber was also ordered to pay $80,900 restitution in July for damaging his former neighbor’s mansion after having throwing eggs at the mansion.

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