Bieber had several run-ins with the law around the world before his first arrest in 2014, including when he was accused of reckless driving in his neighbourhood in 2012, and charged in Brazil with vandalism in 2013. One of his neighbours in Calabasas, California, accused Bieber of throwing eggs at his home on January 9, 2014, and causing thousands of dollars of damage. On January 23, 2014, Bieber was arrested in Miami Beach, Florida, together with singer Khalil on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), driving with an over six month expired license, and resisting arrest without violence. Police said that Bieber told authorities he had consumed alcohol, smoked marijuana, and taken prescription drugs. He has been released from these charges on a $2,500 bond, and lack of evidence beyond reasonable doubt as dictated in the United States court of law. A toxicology report revealed that Bieber had THC (a principal constituent of cannabis) and the anti-anxiety medication Xanax in his system at the time of his arrest.
Following Bieber’s arrest on the DUI charge, more than 270,000 persons petitioned the White House seeking to have him deported from the United States. Although the number of signatures received was sufficient to require a response under published White House guidelines; it has been noted that the Obama Administration has declined substantive comment on the petition. Immigration Law expert Harlan York noted that the likeliness of Bieber being deported was extremely slim. York stated, “About a decade ago, the Supreme Court ruled that driving under the influence, typically, is not a basis to deport someone.”
On July 9, 2014, Bieber was charged with one misdemeanour count of vandalism in California for throwing eggs at his Calabasas neighbour’s home in January. Police earlier claimed that they had video footage of him high-fiving friends after the eggs were thrown. With him pleading no contest to the charge, the Los Angeles County Superior Court sentenced him on July 9 to pay US$80,900 in restitution, serve two years’ probation, complete twelve weeks of anger management, and five days of community service in what the district attorney termed a negotiated settlement. Since then, he has permanently moved to Beverly Hills, California after the incident.
On August 13, 2014, the January DUI case was settled with a plea bargain pleading guilty to resisting an officer without violence, and a lesser charge of driving without due care and attention. He has been fined with US$500 and sentenced to attend both a 12-hour anger management course, and a program that teaches about the impact of drunken driving on victims. As part of the plea bargain, he has made a US$50,000 contribution to Our Kids, a local children’s charity.
“I didn’t want to come off arrogant or conceited, or basically how I’ve been acting the past year, year and a half … although what’s happened in the past has happened, I just want to … be kind and loving and gentle and soft.”
Bieber reflects in a video posted in January 2015
On September 1, 2014, Bieber was arrested and charged with assault and dangerous driving near his hometown of Stratford, Ontario after a collision between a minivan and Bieber’s all-terrain vehicle on August 29. Ontario police said that he then “engaged in a physical altercation” with an occupant of the minivan. He was released shortly and his lawyer blamed the incident on “the unwelcome presence of paparazzi”. On September 8, Toronto dropped an assault charge against him originally brought up on January 29 for an incident with a limousine driver in December 2013. In November 2014, he was ordered to appear in Argentina within 60 days by a Buenos Aires court to give testimony on an alleged assault on a photographer on November 9, 2013. When he failed to do so, an arrest warrant was issued and two of his bodyguards were released in Argentina in April 2015.