Well, those battery accusations could potentially damage a lot more than just his reputation. Criminal defense expert Troy Slaten tells E! News if the pop star was convicted of the offense of battery, he could be facing a maximum $1000 fine and six months in jail.
But don't freak out yet, Beliebers. Slaten explains that "nobody gets that [much time]…If this was found true, I would expect there would be some kind of anger management classes ordered, community service—this would not be a jail case."
Slaten says spitting is a prosecutable offence and that "any kind of unwanted touching constitutes a battery." (One source told E! News Bieber did spit in the neighbor's face, while another admits there was a verbal altercation but insists no spitting was involved).
OK, so what's next for Bieber? It could take up to three weeks for the case to be handed over to the district attorney from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. It would be the DA's decision, after reviewing the case, whether or not to prosecute.
Slaten says the D.A. would likely be interested in prosecuting if there were solid witnesses available, and depending on what kind of proof is available. The Sheriff and D.A. could ask to speak to Bieber, but he's not required to say anything.
"He would be insane to give a statement to the police about this," Slaten says "No good can come from it."
Biebs, just be sure to think before speaking—tweeting, Instagramming, paparazzi-slamming, etc.