02/20/2007 at 03:35 PM EST
Nicole Richie pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor drunk-driving charge stemming from her December arrest in Los Angeles.
Richie's lawyer, Shawn Chapman, entered the plea on behalf of the Simple Life
star, who did not appear in court. Richie's next court date is April 2.
Because of a prior DUI conviction in June 2003, by California law, she faces mandatory jail time of 90 days up to one year if convicted of the second DUI.
Richie was spotted driving the wrong way on an L.A. highway on Dec. 11. She was found stopped in a carpool lane by police, and subsequently failed a field sobriety test. According to police, Richie admitted to officers that she had smoked marijuana and consumed the painkiller Vicodin.
She was booked in Glendale
and "was cooperative," authorities said.
"This is a difficult time for Nicole but she is prepared to accept whatever responsibility is appropriate," her attorney Howard Weitzman told PEOPLE at the time.