Richie's DUI trial delayed until August


GLENDALE, Calif. -- A court commissioner on Wednesday delayed Nicole Richie's driving under the influence trial until Aug. 16 so a defense expert can challenge evidence in the case.

Richie's attorney Shawn Chapman Holley said in court that Dr. Terence Sean McGee will testify about tests and conclusions by drug experts used by prosecutors.

Holley told Superior Court Commissioner Steven Lubell that McGee's testimony was critical to the defense. But he is not available to appear in court until next month, the lawyer said.

Richie was not in court for the brief hearing. Because she faces a misdemeanor charge, the co-star of TV's "The Simple Life" was not required to attend.

Allan Parachini, a spokesman for Los Angeles County Superior Court, said Tuesday that Richie would have to decide whether to accept a plea deal offered by prosecutors.

Terms of the deal were not made available and the district attorney's office declined comment.

Holley left court after the hearing and was not available for comment on a possible plea deal.

Richie was arrested Dec. 11 after witnesses reported seeing her black 2005 Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle headed the wrong way on a freeway in Burbank.

She allegedly failed a field sobriety test, and authorities said she told them she had smoked marijuana and taken a prescription painkiller. No drugs were found on her or in the vehicle.

She pleaded not guilty in February to the DUI charge.