Despite reports that a plea deal is underway in connection with the allegations that Justin Bieber egged his neighbor's home, a source in the District Attorney's office tells E! News that no decision has been made yet.
Meanwhile, Lt. Dave Thompson of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department spoke to E! News exclusively on Wednesday and said that his department "presented the case as a felony and still believes it's a felony crime."
He added, though, that "the DA has not given any indication on their decisions and there's been no discussion of a plea deal to their knowledge."
And while Thompson stated that "the LASD isn't pushing for jail time," he also noted that "they believe the case rises to a felony for several reasons including it being a targeted attack. By charging him with a felony, it would force Justin to appear in court and take responsibility for his behavior. He would be put on felony probation, where his behavior can be controlled."
However, "if Justin is charged with a misdemeanor, he would have to pay restitution and never appear in court," Thompson pointed out.
And although there are no plea deal discussions taking place at the moment, criminal defense attorney Troy Slaten, who is not associated with the case, nevertheless tells E! News that getting a deal in place before the case is even filed would be a win for Bieber and eliminate much of the publicity, fear and speculation of the unknown.
But Slaten says if there winds up being some kind of plea deal, it would be wise if Bieber didn't agree to any kind of probation, which could lead to a sticky situation.
"Being on even informal probation could be dangerous for Justin," says Slaten. "The DA may be setting him up for failure. One condition of probation is that you obey all laws. That means anywhere in the world. And he doesn't even have to be convicted of anything to be found in violation. If the judge finds that it's more likely than not that Justin has broken any law (other than a minor traffic offense) after being placed on probation, then Justin could be re-sentenced on the vandalism case up to the maximum of one year in jail."
Slaten added, "Based on Justin's track record the last several months, being on probation could be very dangerous. I would be working very hard to negotiate a non-probationary deal with the DA. Known as a terminal disposition, it would probably involve a few days in jail or house arrest. The sheriff would keep him safe and Justin would get that 'street cred' he seems to be seeking."