04/21/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT
The lawyer for actress Halle Berry entered a plea of innocent on behalf of his client in a Los Angeles courtroom on Friday. Berry, 31, who is free on her own recognizance, did not appear before the judge, but is due at a pretrial hearing on April 21. She is charged with the misdemeanor of leaving the scene of an accident when, on Feb. 23, she allegedly ran a red light and collided with another vehicle before driving off. (The charge carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail.) The driver of the other car, Hetal Raythatha, 27, is suing the Golden Globe-winning star of the TV movie "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge" for negligence and infliction of emotional distress. Her court papers also say that she believes Berry was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident. Berry's rep denies the charge.