September 20, 2010 / 4:59 PM / in 7 years

Paris Hilton admits cocaine possession

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Paris Hilton pleaded guilty on Monday to cocaine possession and was fined $2,000 by a Las Vegas judge and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service.

<p>Paris Hilton waits in the courtroom at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Nevada September 20, 2010. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus</p>

Hilton, 29, was also given a one-year, suspended sentence and warned that any new arrests in Las Vegas would result in her going to jail.

Hilton could have been jailed for up to four years on the cocaine possession charge, but she reached a plea deal with prosecutors over her arrest on the Las Vegas strip on August 28.

“The purpose of this is that you change your conduct,” Las Vegas justice Joe Bonaventure told Hilton at a brief hearing.

“I assure you that Clark County Detention Center is not the Waldorf Astoria,” Bonaventure added. The Waldorf Astoria in New York is part of the Hilton group of hotels founded by Paris Hilton’s great-grandfather Conrad Hilton.

The sometimes actress and celebrity socialite and her boyfriend, nightclub manager Cy Waits, were stopped by police just before midnight after they said they smelled marijuana coming from their vehicle.

Hilton was charged with possessing 0.8 grams of cocaine found in a purse. The former reality TV star initially denied the purse belonged to her, resulting in an additional charge of obstructing police.

“I was in possession as well as telling the officer the purse was not mine,” Hilton, dressed demurely in a silk blouse and black skirt, told the court.

Asked what drug she was carrying, Hilton answered, “Cocaine.”

Hilton spent three weeks in jail in Los Angeles in 2007 for violating probation on a reckless driving charge. In July, she was briefly detained in South Africa on suspicion of marijuana possession but was released without charge.

Her lawyer, David Chesnoff, told reporters outside the Las Vegas court that Hilton was contrite “and accepts responsibility for her actions.”

“She was treated like anybody else would be treated under the circumstances,” Chesnoff said.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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