Judge Sentences Nicole Richie to Jail

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Following the pathway to California incarceration recently blazed by her reality TV co-star Paris Hilton, 25-year-old Nicole Richie is also headed to jail for a brief period.

As part of a plea bargain, the daughter of pop singer Lionel Richie was sentenced to about four days in jail for driving under the influence of drugs. A somber Richie pleaded guilty to the charge today, and listened to a lecture from the court commissioner who sentenced her, reports the Associated Press. Rumored to be pregnant, she wore a loose-fitting knee-length black dress and spiked heels. She co-stars with Hilton, who recently served 23 days for violating her probation on an alcohol-related driving offense, on the reality television show The Simple Life.

Richie was arrested early Dec. 11 by the California Highway Patrol, which found her Mercedes SUV parked in a car pool lane on a freeway near Burbank after witnesses called saying she was driving the wrong way. Richie reportedly admitted using marijuana and the prescription painkiller Vicodin, and is lucky that her story ended as happily as it did, lectured Superior Court Commissioner Steven K. Lubell. He sentenced her to 90 days in jail under the plea bargain, according to AP, but that apparently will translate in actual time to about four days in jail. He also sentenced Richie to a three-year probationary term, warning her that she can be jailed for a year if she violates it.

“This case, as the court knows it, is pretty scary,” Lubell told Richie. “Someone could have gotten killed or injured. … If you continue to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and someone gets killed, you can be charged with murder, not manslaughter. I hope that never, ever happens.”

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