The 26-year-old actress stripped down her Twitter account Monday, leaving only her name, avatar picture and a link to her WhoSay page on her verified @AmandaBynes page. Bynes went minimalistic on the microblogging site just after a report was published claiming she was involved in another hit-and-run accident in Los Angeles. It's unclear whether the two events are related, but the timing is peculiar.
The LAPD tells E! News an investigation is taking place, but cannot confirm whether the alleged hit-and-run involved Bynes. If the actress was to be found to be the perpetrator of the hit-and-run, it would not affect her current DUI status.
If the hit-and-run turns out to have involved Bynes and charges are filed, it would be treated as an entirely separate case with entirely separate witnesses than her previous charge. "They are completely separate events," legal expert Troy Slaten, a DUI and criminal attorney not involved with the case, tells E! News. "They only way the alleged hit-and-run would affect her DUI would be if she was on probation for the DUI, which she is not. If the hit-and-run happened after she was placed on probation, it could be a violation of her probation."
Bynes plead "not guilty" to her misdemeanor DUI charge back in June. She has a pretrial setting conference scheduled for Sept. 12.
Slaten says the separate cases would have separate witnesses, separate prosecuting agencies, separate courts and separate judges.
If Bynes is involved, Slaten says: "If I were Amanda's attorney, I would be quickly contacting the victim, making sure any property damage was paid for, and trying to get the city attorney to not file and if they did file, make a motion to the judge for a civil compromise. I would tell her if she were ever in an accident, no matter how small, it is her civic duty to exchange information. And for some reason if she couldn't, to immediately report the incident to the police."
The maximum penalty for most misdemeanors involving hit-and-runs are about six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. However Slaten says, "You never get that."
E! News reached out to Bynes' rep for comment, but did not hear back. Let's hope it all gets worked out.