LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Police seized Paris Hilton’s $190,000 Bentley after the heiress was caught driving on a suspended license, and prosecutors vowed on Wednesday to ask a judge to revoke her probation for reckless driving.
Hilton’s spokesman, Elliot Mintz, said his client was not aware her driving privileges had been curtailed.
A court determination that Hilton violated the terms of her probation could result in the 26-year-old reality TV star being fined or even jailed for up to 90 days, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office said.
Hilton was pulled over on Sunset Boulevard in the city of West Hollywood at 11 p.m. on Tuesday for driving without headlights, and her luxury car was impounded when police discovered her license had been suspended, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman said.
The incident comes about five weeks after Hilton was sentenced to three years probation for pleading no contest — the equivalent of a guilty plea — to alcohol-related reckless driving stemming from a September arrest in Hollywood.
“Miss Paris Hilton was driving the vehicle. After investigating her license status it was determined that she was driving on a suspended license,” sheriff’s spokesman Oscar Butao told Reuters.
“Miss Hilton was cited for a suspended license violation and released in the field. Her 2007 blue Bentley Continental GTC was impounded,” Butao said. Authorities can hold the 12-cylinder, 550-horsepower, which she bought herself for Christmas, for up to 30 days.
City Attorney’s Office spokesman Frank Mateljan said driving on a suspended license violated the terms of her probation for the reckless driving offense.
Once police present prosecutors with the citation, the City Attorney will ask a court to revoke her probation, and a hearing on the matter will be set.
If the judge revokes her probation, Hilton could face penalties ranging from 90 days in jail to a new, lengthier probation sentence, fines or additional community service obligations, Mateljan said.
Butao said Hilton was alone at the time of Tuesday night’s traffic stop and was not tested for alcohol consumption.
Hilton’s spokesman, Mintz, said his client did not willfully defy the terms of her probation.
“I don’t believe Paris knew whether or not she was allowed to drive,” Mintz told Reuters. “I don’t know if that information had been clearly communicated to her.
“I can assure you it is not a matter of chutzpah,” he added, using the Yiddish term for unmitigated gall.
He said Hilton called him from the scene to ask whether her driving privileges had been suspended. “So the only conclusion one could draw from that phone call is she didn’t know.”
Additional reporting by Jill Serjeant