Justin Bieber makes a deal to settle Florida driving charges

Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:31pm EDT
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By Zachary Fagenson

MIAMI (Reuters) - Pop star Justin Bieber pleaded guilty to lesser charges on Wednesday to resolve a criminal case brought by Miami Beach police who initially said he was caught drag racing in a Lamborghini under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

The agreement with prosecutors requires the Canadian singer, who was not in court, to attend a 12-hour anger-management class, watch online videos about tragic drunken driving cases and donate $50,000 to a children's charity.

As part of the deal, Bieber pleaded guilty to careless driving, a civil infraction, and resisting an officer without violence, a misdemeanor. In return, the state dropped a charge of driving under the influence.

In approving the plea deal, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Altfield said he hoped Bieber, 20, was aware that his actions had consequences due to his status as a celebrity and a role model for young people.

"While this is a case that involved driving under the influence, he (Bieber) needs to be cognizant of the fact that there are many young persons who are living under the influence, and he is the influence," Altfield said.

"Here is someone who is young, his whole life is ahead of him. He just hopefully will get the message, he will grow up, he will use all of his talents positively for younger persons," he added.

Bieber's attorneys said they would deliver the judge's message to their client. "We'll turn this into a positive experience ... and we'll make sure this becomes a positive experience for everyone," said one of his lawyers, Howard Srebnick.

Calling Bieber's actions "rash juvenile-type conduct", State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said "the intervention and counseling parts of the plea should provide a pathway toward adult responsibility."   Continued...

Canadian singer Justin Bieber performs on stage during the "I Believe Tour" in Helsinki April 26, 2013. REUTERS/Mikko Stig/Lehtikuva