Justin Bieber Reaches Plea Deal in DUI Case, Must Take Anger Management Course, Donate $50K to Charity

This marked one of the most serious legal incidents for the 20-year-old pop star, who has come under criticism over alleged bad public behavior

By Corinne Heller Aug 13, 2014 6:11 PMTags
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Beliebers can breathe a sigh of relief—the Biebs had reached a plea deal in his DUI case and will not face jail time.

In January, cops pulled over Justin Bieber in Miami after suspecting he had been involved in a street race in a residential area and detained him on suspicion of drunk driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license.

On Wednesday, it was revealed at a hearing in the city that the 20-year-old pop star had pleaded guilty to reduced charges of misdemeanor careless driving and resisting arrest after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors, which will keep him out of jail. In exchange, he has been ordered to undergo a 12-hour anger management course, complete a program in which he'll meet people affected by drunk drivers, make a $50,000 charitable donation and pay fines. Bieber did not attend the hearing in person.

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"The strengths and weaknesses of the case motivated everyone to seek this appropriate resolution," State Attorney Katherine Fernandez said in a statement obtained by E! News. "The ultimate purpose of the Miami Beach Police Department's initial traffic stop was to end some rash juvenile type conduct before a tragedy occurred. The intervention and counseling parts of the plea should provide a pathway toward adult responsibility."

Bieber had initially pleaded not guilty to the original charges, which were also misdemeanors. Tests showed that his blood alcohol level was below the limit, although he did test positive for Xanax and for marijuana, which is legal in California, where Bieber maintains a home, if used medicinally.

"That concludes the case and we're relieved that it's over," his lawyer, Howard Srebnick, said at Wednesday's hearing.

The DUI arrest marked one of the most serious legal incidents for Bieber, who has in recent months repeatedly come under criticism for alleged inappropriate public behavior and comments (check out a timeline).

His mug shot, which was taken at the Miami police station and shows him smiling in an orange jumpsuit, had spurred a wave of online memes, a cameo at a major sporting eventjokes on late-night talk shows, a public insult from actor Seth Rogen and words of advice from fellow often-controversial pop star Miley Cyrus. Video footage of Bieber inside the jail was also released.

"Here is someone who is young, 20 years of age, his whole life is ahead of him and he just hopefully will get the message," the Miami judge, Bill Altfield, said at the hearing. "He will grow up, he will use all of his talents positively."

—Additional reporting by Lindsay Good