Date: 21st September 2010

Paris Hilton avoids prison

A US judge has given Paris Hilton a one-year, suspended sentence after she pleaded guilty to drug possession and obstructing a police officer.

The 29-year-old socialite was also fined $2,000 (1,280), and ordered to do 200 hours of community service.

Ms Hilton was arrested shortly before midnight on Las Vegas Boulevard after police pulled over a vehicle in which she was a passenger. The male driver of the car was arrested on DUI drug charges. Hilton's purse also contained a bag with .8 grams of cocaine.

Arriving in the courtroom shortly before the judge, and wearing a white blouse and black pencil skirt, Hilton sat in the front row, looking solemn and speaking on briefly to her attorney, David Chesnoff.

After the hearing, the attorney told reporters: "She was treated like anyone else would be treated under the circumstances, and I'm very proud of the way she's dealt with this. I think she's on the road to success and I wish her personally the best."

She faces a year in jail if she is arrested in Las Vegas in the next year.

Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure told Ms Hilton that the purpose of the sentence he handed down was "that you change your conduct".

"The Clark County Detention Center is not the Waldorf-Astoria," he warned, referring to the famous hotel in New York where Ms Hilton lived during her childhood and which was once owned by her family.

Ms Hilton could have been jailed for up to four years on the cocaine possession charge, but she agreed a plea deal with prosecutors.

She was charged with obstruction because she initially told police the purse and cocaine were not hers.

Her lawyer, David Chesnoff, told reporters that she would attend an outpatient substance abuse treatment programme.

"I know Ms Hilton is contrite and accepts the responsibility for her actions," he said. "She was treated like anybody else would be treated under the circumstances."

Ms Hilton spent 23 days in jail in Los Angeles in 2007 for violating probation on an alcohol-related reckless driving charge.

Source: Press Release



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