Judge Dismisses Anti-Paparazzi Charges in Justin Bieber Case

Photographer had faced up to a year in jail for car chase

Justin Bieber
Mike Coppola/Getty Images
November 14, 2012 5:35 PM ET

Today, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge dismissed charges tied with a trailblazing anti-paparazzi law in a case involving a photographer and Justin Bieber, the Los Angeles Times reports. Paul Raef was originally charged with four misdemeanors for engaging in a high-speed car chase with the pop singer in July, with two of the charges stemming from the new anti-paparazzi law that penalizes photographers for driving dangerously to capture images. He had faced charges of reckless driving and failing to obey a peace officer, as well as two counts of following another vehicle too closely and reckless driving with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain. The latter two counts, tied to the new law, were thrown out by Judge Thomas Rubinson for failing Constitutional standards.

"The judge said that when you are talking about people doing their job and yet running the risk of additional criminal punishment, it has a chilling effect [for] anyone from newsgathers to wedding photographers and even real estate agents," said David S. Kestenbaum, an attorney representing Raef. "It's just a lesson in constitutional law." Despite the dismissals, Raef could still receive a six-month jail sentence.

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