Justin Bieber photographer Paul Raef justifies wild car chase
Paul Raef — the paparazzi charged with reckless driving after he allegedly chased teen pop star Justin Bieber on Los Angeles’ 101 freeway July 6 — is fighting all four misdemeanor charges against him.
According to reports, David Kestenbaum, the lawyer of Paul Raef said in court on Thursday that the paparazzi is planning to fight all aspects of the charges filed against him. Previous reports have stated that Paul Raef was charged with both standard misdemeanors related to his reckless driving and also with the enhanced anti-paparazzi law which carries additional penalties. Attorney Kestenbaum added that he asked for his client’s arraignment to be continued until August 24 to give him ample time to look into challenging the new anti-paparazzi law which was established back in 2010.
Paul Raef is the first ever photographer charged under California’s new “Paparazzi Law,” enhancing the punishment when a paparazzi creates a dangerous situation for profit.
“It’s going to be an interesting First Amendment issue,” David Kestenbaum said. “We are probably going to have a legal challenge to the new law.”
He added, “This is going to be the first time it will be challenged. It targets a special group of people which is another constitutional issue.”
Van Nuys Commissioner Rebecca Omens ordered Paul Raef to turn himself in for booking before his next hearing. Kestenbaum said that his client was not arrested at the scene as was previously reported.
For his standard charge of reckless driving, Raef is facing 90 days in prison plus an additional $1,000 fine. But under the enhanced anti-paparazzi law Raef is facing six months in jail and $2,500 fine.
“No need to enhance penalties just when celebrities are being chased,” Kestenbaum added.
David Kestenbaum said he also plans on investigating and talking to all witnesses. The prosecution will most likely interview Justin Bieber about what had transpired during the wild car chase. But if they will not give a subpoena to the teen pop star, Kestenbaum said he will do it himself.