Justin Bieber goes for anger management, donates $62,500 in plea deal
Pop star Justin Bieber has struck a deal.
He'll go for anger management class, watch videos on drink-driving and donate US$50,000 (S$62,500) to charity.
In exchange, he pleaded guilty to lesser charges on Wednesday.
Miami Beach police had brought a criminal case against the star, after 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 US$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.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Altfield addresses the court as he presides over the Justin Bieber plea hearing. Photo: Reuters
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.
"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.
Bieber frequently makes headlines due to his party-intense lifestyle.
The singer was not given any special treatment by being allowed to plead in absentia, the judge said.
Police said at the time of Bieber's arrest that two SUVs had blocked off the road so the singer could race a friend.
Bieber cursed at police officers and later told them he had consumed alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs, according to the arrest report.
A drug test found marijuana and prescription anti-anxiety medication in his system at the time of the arrest, according to a toxicology report. - Reuters