Two years ago, in March, 2009 the world seemed obsessed with what Chris Brown had or had not done to Rihanna. Did he beat her badly, causing her to be hospitalized and miss her Grammy performance the next day? He was charged with and pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Yours truly was quoted in an E! report on the incident that day. My discussion with the E! reporter that day involved what a likely plea bargain might involve for such a domestic violence matter. I believed that a lot of the guess work would be resolved by knowing the true extent of the injuries suffered by the Pop Star.
CNN reported on Brown’s sentencing, the terms of his deal were misleading to the public. Brown was to complete nearly a full work year worth of community labor. This for a pop star in his prime seems implausable to be honestly complied with. Geragos, Brown’s celebrity attorney may not be familiar with the daily ins and outs of the Los Angeles criminal court system but he does know how to negotiate.
I do not know what labor Brown is performing to comply with his domestic violence deal, but his positive progress indicates that his conviction with be reduced to a misdemeanor in short order. This will remove his need to check in with a probation officer, and allowing him to travel at will. Geregos will soon petition the court to reduce the charges for his client’s good behavior.
Some would argue, that this is a great example of how celebrities are given preferential treatment even in a domestic violence case. It is true, that a non-celeb defendant would have had a hard time avoiding some jail time under these circumstances, but his attorney convinced the DA to substitute 1400 hours of labor in the place of jail. The genius here, is not the substitution of labor for jail, but rather the loose definition of labor. I think, if we could see the details of this “labor”, Leno would have a good laugh writing jokes about the quality the labor performed by Brown.
What the average non-celebrity should take from this on the anniversary of Brown’s “incident” is two-fold. You do not need to be a celebrity to avoid severe punishment when accused of committing a crime, rather you need only hire a good private defense attorney who can invest enough time and energy into helping you like Geragos helped Brown.