Former 'Laguna Beach' star Jessica Smith pleads guilty
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/06/2007
Jessica Smith admitted her wrongs and will pay the price, but she apparently won't find herself behind bars.
The 19-year-old former Laguna Beach star pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge Thursday in Orange County District Court, E! Newsreported Thursday night. Because Smith was a first-time offender, she was sentenced to three years informal probation; ordered to perform 80 hours of community service; as well as pay $1,300 in fines, penalties and fees, according to E! News.
Smith was charged with suspicion of felony driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs after a March 26 accident she was involved with on a San Diego freeway, in which she reportedly crashed a 1999 Volkswagen Beetle into the back of a 2003 Acura MDX after she was unable to slow down in time. In addition, Smith's "level of intoxication, unsafe speeds and wet roadways" were all alleged conditions that led to the accident.
Roy Hernandez, the Acura's driver, reportedly sustained minor injuries in the collision as did Smith's passenger, 20-year-old Lindsay Cooper. Smith apparently escaped without injury.
However the lack of severity of the injuries to those who were hurt led the Orange County District Attorney's office to charge Smith with a misdemeanor instead of a felony, according to E! News.