Striking a deal with the Los Angeles District Attorney's office, the comic pleaded no contest Wednesday to one count of felony child endangerment and one misdemeanor count of inflicting injury on a child, after prosecutors agreed to drop sex charges against her.
The arrangement fulfills a promise made by her attorney, Steven Cron, two weeks ago, when he said his client would be cleared of lewd-conduct charges and not serve any jail time.
Poundstone, 41, agreed to the prosecutor's recommended sentence: five years' supervised probation, in addition to 180 days in a lock-down alcohol rehab center as part of the her plea agreement--instead of a six-month stint in the slammer.
Poundstone, who has been in alcohol rehab ever since her arrest in June for allegedly committing a lewd act on a child under 14, expressed relief with the plea bargain.
"At the beginning of this nightmare I said I trusted the truth," Poundstone said in a statement, after entering her plea in a Santa Monica courtroom. "Today, the truth prevailed.
"The lewd-conduct charges against me were dropped because they weren't true," she added. "I pled no contest to the child-endangerment/injury charges because they were [true]. My drinking helped to create a dangerous situation for the children [and] for this I am very sorry."
Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's office, told wire services the child-endangerment count stemmed from Poundstone's alleged drinking and driving while her four children were in the car with her.
Robison refused to elaborate on the child-injury charge, nor explain why prosecutors decided to drop the lewd-conduct charges against Poundstone.
"We can't say anything more than that," Robison told Reuters. "After further investigation we believe this is an appropriate way the case should be handled and resolved."
The comedian pleaded innocent in July to three counts of lewd conduct involving a girl under 14, and another count of child endangerment on two boys and two girls. She had also been barred from seeing her own children without supervision while the case is pending.
After her arrest, Cron revealed Poundstone was battling alcoholism and in fact was in a live-in rehab program when she was arrested on June 27.
Last month, Cron said Poundstone had been making strides toward recovery.
"Although she's still in rehab, she is seeing the children regularly," he said. "She is making progress in rehab, and we're looking forward to the day when she can be reunited on a full-time basis with her children."
The Massachusetts native is expected to get back custody of her two adoptive children.