Nicole Richie facing jail
Feb 1, 2007, 12:20 GMT
Nicole Richie - © Glenn Harris / Photorazzi
Nicole Richie looks set to face a criminal charge for driving under the influence (DUI).
The Californian Highway Patrol (CHP) handed over Nicole's DUI case to the Los Angeles District Attorney's office on Wednesday (31.01.07).
The decision suggests CHP officials have recommended Nicole faces a criminal charge because the district attorney - rather than the city attorney office - has been asked to review the case.
Nicole, 25, was charged with the offence on December 11 after being arrested for driving the wrong way along a California freeway.
At the time of the arrest she admitted to police she had taken the strong painkiller Vicodin and smoked marijuana.
She was taken into custody and released after posting $15,000 bail.
If charges are filed against Nicole a hearing will be scheduled for February 7.
If convicted, Nicole's chances of a jail sentence are further increased because of a previous DUI charge in 2002.
California law states that a repeat offence carries the mandatory jail sentence of five days and the offender should have their driving licence suspended for one year.
At the time of her arrest in 2002 Nicole told police she had eaten French fries and drunk a shot of vodka.
She pleaded no contest to the charge and was sentenced to three years probation. Nicole also had her driving license suspended for one year.
Six months later, Nicole was arrested for possession of heroin and for driving with a suspended license.
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