Paris Hilton Facing Felony Charges After Cocaine Related Arrest

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According to the police report, Hilton's vehicle was pulled over when a police officer smelled marijuana smoke coming from the SUV's windows. Police were questioning the driver of the vehicle, her boyfriend, Cy Waits, when Hilton requested to be escorted to a bathroom at the nearby Wynn hotel to avoid a growing crowd. Officers agreed that removing Hilton from the scene would aid their investigation.

Hilton was taken to the Wynn security office bathroom when she reached in her purse, apparently for lip gloss, and a bindle, containing .8 grams of cocaine, fell out of her purse. Cocaine possession is a category E felony in Clark County, where Hilton was detained. It carries a maximum punishment of up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. First-time offenders may be offered probation.

Hilton was taken in to custody and released nearly three hours later, on her own recognizance, due to crowding in the nearby jail. Also found in Hilton's purse were credit cards, $1,300 cash and a broken tablet of Albuterol, a drug used to treat conditions such as asthma.

TMZ, the popular celebrity news website, has reported that the Las Vegas District Attorney, David Roger, has already filed a felony case regarding the matter. Roger is the DA who is responsible for incarcerating O.J. Simpson after he was arrested for a robbery that took place at a hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

Lisa Bloom, a CBS News Legal Analyst, says Hilton's defense will face troubles due to her contradicting reports to authorities. ''I'm sure her attorney at this point is saying, ‘Why did you talk at all to the police? You should have invoked your right to remain silent,'' said Bloom.

Hilton reportedly told officers that the purse was not hers and that she thought the cocaine was gum. ''That is just logically inconsistent,” said Bloom. ''She should have picked one or better yet, remained silent.”

However, Bloom also says that playing stupid may prevent Hilton from a possible conviction. ''The police do have to prove that [Hilton] knew the cocaine was there. That it was either her cocaine or that she was knowingly carrying it. That's called mens rea in the criminal law.” Bloom added, that if Hilton could prove she was ignorant of the cocaine in her purse, ''she could have a defense.”

The celebrity heiress is no stranger to run-ins with the law. Hilton spent 23 days in the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, California back in 2007 after being sentenced to 45 days for violating probation. Hilton was placed under probation after pleading no contest to reckless driving charges in January of that year.

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