Turns out, you don't always have to do the time just because you've done the crime.
Exhibit A: Paris Hilton, who despite pleading guilty to two drug bust-related misdemeanors this morning, skated away from the courthouse with absolutely no jail time to her increasingly tarnished name.
Hilton turned up for the brief hearing at Las Vegas' Regional Justice Center—the same place O.J. Simpson was brought to justice, incidentally—bright and early at 7:30 a.m.
In the end and just as expected, her Aug. 27 bust resulted not in felony cocaine possession, but instead in blatant disregard of a Twitpic misdemeanor drug possession and obstructing an officer. The former charge is, of course, fairly self-explanatory. As for the latter, she's getting slapped with that for her cockamamie story about the offending drug-possessing purse not being hers.
Spoiler alert: it was.
On both counts, Hilton was required to state exactly what she did wrong. For the first:
"Guilty, your honor," she said. "I was in possession as well as tell an officer that the bag wasn't my purse."
When pressed to state for the record what, exactly she was in possession of, Hilton responded: "Cocaine, your honor."
As for the second:
"Guilty, your honor," she pleaded. "I said that the purse wasn't mine to the officer, your honor."
In exchange for her legal mea culpa, Hilton is expected to be sentenced to a year of informal probation (meaning she won't have a probation officer to check in with), to complete an intensive outpatient controlled substance abuse program, pay a $2,000 fine ($1,000 per offense) and serve 200 hours (100 for each count) of community service.
"Ms. Hilton, you're ordered to stay out of trouble," Judge Bonaventura said.
"Any new arrests terminate your criminal probation and you will serve a one year sentence. The purpose of this is to change your conduct. I'm going to warn you, Ms. Hilton. You've now been sentenced to one-year in the Clark County Detention Center. The Clark County Detention Center is not the Waldorf Astoria. Take this seriously, Ms. Hilton."
Any new misconduct, excluding minor traffic citations, will result in an automatic jail sentence.
Barring any such incidents, the two consecutive six-month sentences at the Clark County Detention Center, which her pleas would ordinarily entail for people not luckily enough to bear the surname of a hotel empire, are suspended.
As far as logistics go, the 29-year-old coyly arrived in court on time (future law-breaking starlets, take note) with her lawyer, David Chesnoff, donning a conservative white satin blouse, black skirt and the classiest extensions money can buy.
"Ms. Hilton is contrite and accepts responsibility for that," Chesnoff told the court.
The District Attorney, for their part, had no problem with the plea.
"Under the circumstances of the case, this is a fair resolution," the prosecutor said. "Our main concern is that Ms. Hilton stay out of trouble over the next year."
Here's to that. Barring any more incidents, Hilton's next hearing has been set for Sept. 20, 2011. As for boyfriend Cy Waits, who was driving the Cadillac Escalade when it was pulled over last month and who was also arrested at the time, his arraignment hearing is scheduled to take place Nov. 29.
—Additional reporting by Soo Youn
(Originally published Sept. 20, 2010, at 8:01 a.m. PT)