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Friday, December 9, 2016

By David Ovalle, The Miami Herald

MIAMI — Pop singer Justin Bieber will go to trial on May 5 for driving under the influence, and so far, prosecutors have not offered a plea deal.

Lawyers agreed on the trial date during a brief hearing on Tuesday at Miami-Dade’s criminal courthouse.

Police arrested Bieber onJan. 23after officers said he was drag racing a Lamborghini on a South Beach residential street. His pal, Khalil Sharieff, also a recording artist, was also arrested and is awaiting trial.

Officers said Bieber admitted to smoking marijuana and taking prescription medication, while a urine test showed he had the drugs in his system. A breath test showed Bieber was not legally drunk.

Miami-Dade prosecutor Daniel Diaz-Balart told Miami-Dade County Judge William Altfield that no plea deal has been offered to the Canadian pop star. Defense attorney Roy Black said he will depose witnesses in the case.

The hearing came one day after the celebrity news website TMZ released video of Bieber’s deposition in a South Florida civil case in which he is accused of sending his bodyguard to rough up a photographer.

In the widely viewed video, the troubled singer — who has made headline after headline for his recent antics — appears petulant and standoffish as he answers questions from the plaintiff’s lawyer.

In the criminal case, prosecutors released more than 10 hours of video clips, including Bieber wobbling as he undergoes a sobriety test in the police station, doing push-ups in a cell and urinating for a drug test.

His defense lawyers fought the release of the urinating videos clips. After the media objected, Altfield ordered a black box be placed over his genitalia before the videos were released to the media.

On Tuesday, Black decried the celebrity paparazzi culture — and the public records laws in Florida — that have made Bieber’s life miserable under the scrutiny.

“There is no protection for someone like Justin,” Black told a gaggle of reporters after Tuesday’s hearing.

AFP Photo/Joe Raedle