New Trial Delay for Nicole Richie
Her lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, appeared on behalf of Richie, arguing that the case should be delayed because a key drug-expert witness had been traveling abroad and was unavailable for trial, which was scheduled to begin today.
"Dr. Terence McGee is going to challenge the prosecution's scientific evidence," Holley said. "Observations were made of Ms. Richie that he can [refute]."
Holley also stated that a urine analysis taken the night of Richie's Dec. 11 arrest was "unreliable."
Los Angeles County Commissioner Steven Lubell granted the new delay, and ordered Richie to show for trial on Aug. 16.
Holley apparently turned down any plea deal – for now – that an L.A. Superior Court spokesman confirmed was offered to Richie. Details of that plea deal were not disclosed.
If convicted of the misdemeanor charge, the Simple Life star – who has pleaded not guilty – faces a minimum sentence of four days in jail with three years of probation because it would be her second DUI offense.
Last month Richie, 25, told David Letterman on his show that she is "scared" to go to jail. But, she added, "I'm willing to face whatever consequences come my way, and I take responsibility for what I've done."
Spotted driving the wrong way on a Los Angeles freeway last December, Richie failed a field sobriety test and admitted to police that she'd smoked marijuana and taken Vicodin earlier that evening.
She was previously convicted of a DUI in June 2003.
Although California law states that repeat DUI offenders get a minimum three months in jail, that sentence can be reduced to only four days if the person accepts a three-year probation term.