Justin Bieber pleads guilty in deal in Florida

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 13, 2014 at 2:07 pm •  Published: August 13, 2014
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MIAMI (AP) — Pop singer Justin Bieber's guilty plea to charges of careless driving and resisting arrest puts an end to a legal saga that began seven months ago inside a rented Lamborghini at what police called an illegal drag race. The judge who accepted Bieber's plea Wednesday said it's time for the 20-year-old singer to stop his misbehavior — especially for his millions of young fans.

"I hope that he realizes that his actions not only lead to consequences that affect him but they lead to consequences that affect others that are looking up to him as a role model," Miami-Dade County Judge William Altfield said at a hearing. "He just hopefully will get the message. He will grow up. He will use his talents positively for young persons."

Bieber attorney Howard Srebnick said the judge's message will be relayed to the singer, who was not at the hearing.

"We will turn this into a positive experience," Srebnick said. "We're relieved that it's over."

The plea deal Bieber struck with prosecutors includes a 12-hour anger management course, a $50,000 charitable contribution already made to a local children's organization and a $500 fine. The deal allows Bieber to avoid a conviction of driving under the influence and includes no jail time. A charge of driving with an expired license was dropped when Bieber showed proof he had a valid one.

Bieber was arrested early Jan. 23 in Miami Beach after what police described as an illegal street race in an upscale residential neighborhood, with Bieber's Lamborghini and a Ferrari driven by R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff. Neither was charged with drag racing, and there was little evidence they were exceeding posted speed limits, although police said Bieber's security vehicles had blocked off one end of the road.

Still, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Miami Beach officers were right to stop the pair.

"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," she said.

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