Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Reese Witherspoon ‘likely to face fine’

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon is expected to pay a fine stemming from the disorderly conduct charge against her, according to a top legal expert.

The mother-of-three was briefly jailed on Friday after her husband Jim Toth was taken into custody for DUI in Atlanta, Georgia, in the early hours.

Reese was handcuffed at the scene after becoming increasingly agitated by the situation and entering into a verbal disagreement with the arresting officer.

The couple have a court appearance scheduled for Monday morning at Atlanta Municipal Court.

Criminal DUI attorney Raymond Guidice, who is based in the city, has given his independent expert opinion on Reese's next move after the hearing.

"After Monday's hearing, the next court date will be set for within the next 30 to 60 days. Guidice claims that Witherspoon may never have to appear in court if she does not want to fight the charge and would rather just pay a fine," writes E! Online.

The site also states that the "maximum charge for her would depend on whether she is charged under the city ordinance—a $1,000 fine and up to 60 days in custody—or under the state ordinance, which would carry a $1,000 fine and a sentence of up to a year in custody. However, he reiterates, these are maximum numbers, and he claims that most clients receive less severe sentences."

Guidice - who is not connected to the case - also gave his opinion on the charge against Reese.

The star ignored the arresting officer's request to stay inside the vehicle at the scene, and has since issued a grovelling apology.

"It happens a lot on DUI arrest when the passenger gets out of the car yelling," the attorney explained. "[The officer is] just trying to get control of the situation."

Guidice also gave his expert opinion on Jim's situation. The attorney listed the maximum penalties the star could face, but revealed "clients typically get far less".

"If convicted, the maximum DUI penalty in Atlanta is a year in jail, a $1,000 fine, 40 hours of community service, a defensive driving class and a license suspension," he is quoted as saying.

Earlier today, Reese issued an apology regarding the legal debacle.

"Out of respect for the ongoing legal situation, I cannot comment on everything that is being reported right now. But I do want to say, I clearly had one drink too many and I am deeply embarrassed about the things I said. It was definitely a scary situation and I was frightened for my husband, but that is no excuse," she explained.

"I was disrespectful to the officer who was just doing his job. I have nothing but respect for the police and I’m very sorry for my behaviour."

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