Bruno Mars Cops to Coke Charge—and Gets Off Scot-Free?!

Grammy winner pleads guilty to possession charge, which will be wiped from his record if he stays out of trouble for the next year

By Gina Serpe Feb 16, 2011 6:43 PMTags
Bruno Mars, Peter Hernandez, Mug shotLas Vegas Police Dept.

Bruno Mars is falling on his sword grenade.

Fresh off a Grammy win, the modern-day rat packer turned up to his arraignment in a Las Vegas courtroom this morning and pleaded guilty to felony cocaine possession stemming from his bust last September.

Score one for accountability. Of course, noble as his copping may be, it turns out what happens in Vegas…well, it just may stay there.

If the "Just the Way You Are" singer manages to stay out of trouble for the next 12 months, the felony charge will be completely wiped from his record, the result of a pretty sweet sweetheart deal made with prosecutors.

"Bruno is very appreciative that the charges are going to be dismissed," his lawyer Blair Berk told E! News.

As it is, the trouble all went down last fall, when Mars was performing in Sin City. After his show, he made his way to the Hard Rock, where a bathroom attendant spotted him with a bag containing 2.6 grams of a suspiciously white powdery substance. Security was alerted, and the rest is pop culture history.

The 25-year-old singer, whose real name is Peter Hernandez, will be placed on probation for a year as part of his plea deal. He'll also pay a $2,000 fine, undergo drug counseling and complete 200 hours of community service. In a year's time, should all go according to plan, the first-time offender can withdraw his plea and the case will be dismissed.

Of course, if he fails to stay clean, he could face prison time. Not that that means much these days.

In any case, he'll have his work cut out for him as he'll be back on the road for his newly announced Hooligans in Wondaland tour, in which he'll coheadline with Janelle Monáe. The 24-city trek kicks off May 4 in New York.

—Additional reporting by Whitney English