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Nicole Richie wins delay in drunken driving trial
June 20, 2007 / 1:22 AM / 10 years ago

Nicole Richie wins delay in drunken driving trial

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Reality TV star Nicole Richie on Tuesday won a more than two-week postponement of her trial on charges of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, but the judge in the case said he would grant no further delays.

<p>Nicole Richie in a booking photo following charges of driving under the influence in December 2006. Richie on Tuesday won a more than two-week postponement of her trial, but the judge in the case said he would grant no further delays. REUTERS/Glendale Police Department/Handout</p>

Superior Court Commissioner Steven Lubell set a new trial date of July 11 for Richie, who was arrested in December after allegedly driving the wrong way on a busy Los Angeles freeway.

Lubell, who pushed back the trial date from June 25 at the request of Richie’s lawyers, said he would not put it off again.

Richie, the 25-year-old daughter of singer Lionel Richie who co-stars with best friend Paris Hilton in “The Simple Life,” was not in court for the brief hearing in Los Angeles.

“She has two options: Either she goes to trial or she changes her ‘not guilty’ plea,” said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

If convicted, Richie faces a minimum punishment of 90 days in jail because she has a prior conviction for driving under the influence, Robison said.

Police say that when they questioned Richie at the time of her arrest she failed a sobriety test and admitted that she had smoked marijuana and taken the painkiller Vicodin.

Although her black sports utility vehicle was pointed in the right direction when officers found her, it matched the description of a car that had been seen entering the freeway against traffic.

Hilton, 26, was sentenced to 45 days in jail for violating her probation in a drunken driving case. She is expected to serve 23 days with standard credit for good behavior behind bars. She sparked a worldwide press frenzy when she was briefly released for what authorities said were medical reasons.

Robison said sensational news coverage around Hilton’s jail term was not a factor in Richie’s case.

“For us it’s taken on a case-by-case basis,” she said. “That’s a different office, different jurisdiction. It has nothing to do with this case.”

Reuters/Nielsen

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