Pop star faces jail time for parking lot encounter

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Britney Spears legal woes mounted Friday as prosecutors charged her with misdemeanor counts of hit and run and driving without a valid license after she allegedly smashed her car into another in a parking lot in August.

If convicted, the singer could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for each count, said Nick Velasquez, spokesman for the city attorney’s office.

Messages left with Spears’ attorneys were not immediately returned.

The accident occurred Aug. 6, Velasquez said.

Spears, 25, was filmed by paparazzi that day steering her car into another vehicle as she tried to turn into a spot in a Studio City parking lot. After assessing the damage to her own car only, she was shown on paparazzi video walking away.

Three days after the accident, the owner of the other vehicle, Kim Robard-Rifkin, filed a police report, and investigators later determined that Spears does not have a license, officials said.

Robard-Rifkin, a 59-year-old registered nurse, learned it was Spears who had hit her car through a video posted on the celebrity Web site CelebTV.com.

She said she was “sort of amused and sort of shocked” when she learned Spears was the source of the damage, adding that she had expected to hear from the star’s camp.

“I simply want my car fixed, the same as I would fix somebody’s car if I had done that,” Robard-Rifkin told the site in August.

Spears was scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 10, but she is not required to appear.

The case comes days after a court commissioner ordered her to undergo random drug and alcohol testing twice a week in her child custody dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline. She must also meet eight hours a week with a parenting coach, who will observe and report back to the court about her parenting skills.

Her management firm also recently dropped her, and her performance at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards was widely panned. Spears’ new album is set for release Nov. 13.

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