Last week, a judge ruled that Paris Hilton was going to jail for 45 days, after violating her probation on a previous DUI-related conviction. She couldn't use a work permit to postpone her day behind bars, scheduled for June 5. She couldn't pay extra, as some are allowed to, for a nicer jail cell. She probably couldn't even pass Go or collect $200. But then again, this is Paris Hilton—she can do whatever she wants. Right?
She sure talks a good game. Over the weekend, she said to photographers camped outside her house: "I feel that I was treated unfairly and that the sentence is both cruel and unwarranted and I don't deserve this." But then the earth seemed to shift. This week, Hilton added DUI lawyer Richard Hutton to her legal defense team, and she came out with a new statement: "I am ready to face the consequences of violating probation."
What happened to that petulant defiance? Apparently, Hilton finally woke up and heard what the judge said: it will be virtually impossible for her to avoid jail time. In fact, she has only three options, which we rate using the world-famous Paris Scale:
1. The appeal. Under California law, Superior Court cases involving traffic violations are typically not subject to a retrial. So Hilton's lawyers can't argue new evidence in front of another judge. Their only option for an appeal is to argue that a legal error was committed by the judge or the courtroom. Last Friday, Hilton's lawyer filed a notice of appeal, which gives them 15 days to file an appeal that lays out the groundwork for what legal wrongdoings—if any—they think occurred. One possible angle: Hutton could argue the judge was harder on Hilton because she's a celebrity. But the maximum sentence for Hilton's violation is 90 days, so she did get a break. "We contend that the court's decision was well within discretion," says Frank Mateljan, spokesperson for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. Likelihood of success: not hot.
2. The pardon. Fans circulated a petition last week that received more than 900 signatures, asking Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to pardon Hilton. Their spectacular argument: "She provides hope for young people all over the U.S. and the world. If the late Former President Gerald Ford could find it in his heart to pardon the late Former President Nixon after his mistakes, we undeniably support Paris Hilton being pardoned for her honest mistake as well." Schwarzenegger's office responded that he would only act in "extraordinary circumstances." Is he dying to see the next season of "The Simple Life?" Likelihood of success: so not hot.
3. Prison overcrowding. On second thought—oops!—the jail might not have enough room for Hilton, not to mention her caravan of luggage. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said this week that Hilton might get at least half time off for good behavior, a policy they've enacted for low-risk cases to free up beds for the serious offenders. Last year, Michelle Rodriguez ("Lost") served less than a day of her 60-day sentence for DUI charges because of the same policy. Talk about good karma: a hotel heiress released early from prison because there's no vacancy. That's hot.