Paris Hilton Sentenced to 45 Days in Jail
The Judge was hard on Paris Hilton today, sentencing her to 45 days in the L.A. County Jail for violating probation by driving while her license was suspended.
Hilton had been serving 36 months of probation after pleading no contest to a charge of alcohol-related reckless driving related to her Sept. 7 arrest in Hollywood. She also had been fined $1,500.
Paris' defense was a little weak -- she said her aides hadn't told her about the driving restriction.
Still, 45 days is stiff.
Her mother's reaction:
Hilton appeared stunned by the ruling and began to cry. Hilton's mother also began to show her displeasure visibly, shaking her head -- and had be warned by a court official to stop....
....Her mother, Kathy, told the prosecutor after the judge's decision: "You're pathetic."
Did Paris get a stiffer sentence because she's a celebrity?
Having spent all day in a county jail visiting clients denied bond in federal cases, I can tell you it's no walk in the park. And I bet the LA County Jail is a nightmare by comparison.
Jail should be a last resort for violent offenders from whom society needs to be protected. Driving under suspension, without more, even if on probation, just doesn't qualify in my opinion.
Community service would have been far better.
Update: See below. This is just wrong of the judge.
The New York Times reports:
She was then ordered to report to a women's jail in suburban Lynwood by the set date or face 90 days behind bars. The judge's ruling excluded her from paying to serve time in a jail of her choice, as some are allowed.
Why can other rich people pick their jail but she can't? Last week I wrote about LA's program of private self-pay jails.
I agree with Paris' lawyer Howard Weitzman(a great one, by the way),
Defense attorney Howard Weitzman said he would appeal.
''I'm shocked, I'm surprised and really disheartened in the system that I've worked in for close to 40 years,'' Weitzman said. He said the sentence was ''uncalled for, inappropriate and bordered on the ludicrous.''
''I think she's singled out because of who she is,'' Weitzman said.
Her "aide", Elliot Mintz, backed up her story:
Also called to the stand was Hilton's spokesman, Elliot Mintz. Hilton and her attorneys characterized Mintz as a liaison between Hilton and her lawyers.
Mintz testified that to his knowledge Hilton did not drive during the 30-day period. He said he then advised her that he believed her license was no longer suspended.
The judge called Mintz's testimony worthless and expressed disbelief at Hilton's lawyers.
''I can't believe that either attorney did not tell her that the suspension had been upheld,'' the judge said. ''She wanted to disregard everything that was said and continue to drive no matter what.''
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