Britney Spears driver's license case heads to trial
By Alex Dobuzinskis
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jury selection for a Britney Spears driving charge began on Wednesday despite last minutes hopes of a plea bargain that would have avoided a full-scale trial for the pop singer.
Spears, 26, exercised her right to stay away from court as her attorney defended her against a charge of driving without a valid California license.
Attorney J. Michael Flanagan has sought unsuccessfully to have the misdemeanor charge, filed in August 2007, thrown out.
But he told reporters that prosecutors offered Spears no leniency if she pleaded guilty to avoid a trial.
Flanagan has said the singer intends to fight the charge because she does not want any kind of criminal conviction, even a misdemeanor, on her record. If convicted, Spears could face a maximum of six months in jail but would more likely face a fine and probation, prosecutors said.
The case stems from an August 2007 incident in which Spears hit another car in a Los Angeles parking lot while being pursued by paparazzi. That part of the case was settled with the driver out of court a year ago.
But the singer was driving with a license from her home state of Louisiana. She has since got her California license.
"Even if she pleads guilty it's a 'fix-it ticket,'" Flanagan said. "And she's not guilty." Continued...