Those Nick Nolte buffs who can't wait until next summer to see their fave actor in The Hulk now have another option: They may soon be able to catch the onetime Prince of Tides in a Malibu courtroom.

Prosecutors on Wednesday filed two criminal counts against Nolte stemming from his DUI bust last month.

The 61-year-old was rung up on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence and a second charge of being under the influence of a controlled substance, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The controlled substance in question: GHB, one of the so-called date-rape drugs. The charges carry a maximum penalty of six months in jail.

Nolte will be arraigned on the charges Monday in the same courthouse that has hosted celeb cases involving Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson, Robert Downey Jr. and Charlie Sheen.

But because the counts aren't felonies, the actor is not required to put in face time yet in the courtroom. No immediate word from the Nolte camp on whether he will make a cameo.

If he does show, it will be his first public appearance since September 11, when he was spotted accommodating fans by posing for photos before being hauled away by cops for booking. (We're hoping those pics turned out better than his now infamous mugshot, depicting the two-time Oscar nominee more than slightly unkempt in a buttoned-to-the-chin Hawaiian shirt and hair by Medusa.)

Just three days after his arrest, he checked into Connecticut's Silver Hill rehab clinic to--in the words of publicist Paul Bloch--"receive advice and counsel that he feels he needs at this time." He has remained under the radar ever since.

Nolte's stay at the star-friendly facility (it counts Billy Joel among its alumni) was open-ended, with Bloch saying the actor would "be there as long as he feels is necessary."

The California Highway Patrol nabbed Nolte after spotting the actor's black 1992 Mercedes-Benz swerving on the Pacific Coast Highway. Nolte's Mercedes weaved "across all south-bound lanes and into the opposing lanes of traffic," the CHP said.

Nolte subsequently was pulled over, and, per the arresting officer, found to be drooling and disheveled. At the time, the CHP said, "It probably wasn't alcohol" that fueled the incident. Indeed, follow-up tests revealed only GHB, aka gamma hydroxybutyrate, in his system. Also known as liquid Ecstasy, GHB is a popular, albeit illegal, club drug known for relaxing inhibitions and producing a mildly euphoric high.

Once one of Hollywood's biggest booze hounds and a self-described "functioning drunk," Nolte has repeatedly claimed his hard-drinking days were way behind him, saying he gave up the bottle in the 1990s for a clean and fit lifestyle.

Nolte has two Best Actor Oscar nominations to his credit, for 1991's Prince of Tides and 1998's Affliction and has also starred in such hit films as the 1991 remake of Cape Fear, 1987's Down and Out in Beverly Hills and 1982's 48 Hrs..

Aside from the aforementioned Hulk, in which he plays Bruce Banner's father, Dr. David Banner, Nolte has two lower-profile, indie dramas on the docket for 2003, The Good Thief and Beautiful Country.