September 21, 2010 – Socialite Paris Hilton pleaded guilty Monday to two misdemeanor charges for possessing cocaine and lying about it, but avoided jail in a legal deal with authorities.
Judge Joe Bonaventure gave her two six-month suspended jail terms — but said she would be jailed for a year if she was arrested again.
And he warned her: “The Clark County Detention Center is not the Waldorf Astoria” — the luxury New York hotel which is part of the Hilton family’s worldwide business empire.
Dressed in a cream silk blouse and black skirt, Hilton admitted one misdemeanor drug possession charge and one charge of obstructing an officer, at the early morning hearing at a Las Vegas court.
The hotel heiress agreed to the deal, offered by Clark County District Attorney David Roger, to avoid a more serious felony drug charge.
The deal includes: two separate six-month probations served consecutively, totalling one year, a 2,000 dollar fine, completion of a substance abuse program and 200 hours of community service.
The community service can be carried out at a non-profit organization of her choice, including a church for example.
Although the original felony charge would not have resulted in jail time for Hilton, if she is arrested during her probation, she will have to serve a one-year jail term.
The charges stem from an August 27 arrest when Hilton’s boyfriend, nightclub owner Cy Waits, was pulled over on a suspected DUI charge when police smelled marijuana coming from his Cadillac Escalade.
During the arrest, Hilton went to the bathroom inside the Wynn Las Vegas, but had to leave her handbag with the police. On leaving the restroom she asked for her lip balm and a bag containing less than a gram of cocaine tumbled out.
She told the police the Chanel purse was not hers, despite having sent out a picture on her Twitter account a month earlier with a message saying, “Love my new Chanel purse I got today :).”
Earlier this summer Hilton was arrested in South Africa after the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup game, on suspicion of possession of marijuana, but the case was dropped.
In 2007 Hilton spent 23 days of a 45-day sentence in a Los Angeles county jail for a DUI charge.