Amanda Bynes charged with 2 hit-and-run counts, faces jail threat
Amanda Bynes, a former child star who has appeared in the movies "Hairspray" and "Easy A," has been charged with two counts of hit-and-run and could be sent to jail for up to a year, months after she was arrested for a separate DUI incident.
No one was injured in the reported crashes. A Los Angeles City Attorney's office spokesperson said in a statement obtained by OTRC.com that the two hit-and-run charges, which are misdemeanors, were filed on September 4 and that Bynes is scheduled to be arraigned on September 27. She was sent a voluntary appearance letter on Wednesday, September 5. She has not commented about the charges.
Authorities say the first suspected hit-and-run took place in April. A person told police that Bynes, 26, rear-ended their car on a Los Angeles highway and fled the scene. She was not arrested.
The incident occurred days after she was booked for allegedly driving drunk and crashing into a cop car. She pleaded not guilty to DUI in June. A pretrial conference for that case has been scheduled for September 12.
"I can't help but laugh at all of you writing fake stories about me," Bynes had Tweeted on May 27. "I was not in any hit and runs. I don't drink so the DUI is false."
Prosecutors had reopened the first suspected hit-and-run case after a second one surfaced in early August. A Los Angeles woman filed a police report in which she claimed that Bynes rear-ended her on a busy street in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles and fled the scene. Bynes has not commented.
The actress faces a maximum punishment of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for each hit-and-run count. If convicted of both, she could serve her jail time consecutively. Also, her DUI case carries a maximum sentence of six months behind bars. In Los Angeles, most non-violent offenders are released from custody early due to overcrowding.
In early May, several outlets reported that Bynes had sideswiped another vehicle in Los Angeles and then drove off. A police official said the damage involved was minor and that the actress cooperated with authorities and would not be charged as she may not have realized her error.
The actress rose to fame as a child star with the Nickelodeon series "All That," which aired between 1996 and 2002. She also portrayed Taffy on the animated series "Rugrats" and starred opposite Colin First and Kelly Preston in the teen romantic comedy "What a Girl Wants." Between 2002 and 2006, she appeared on the sitcom "What I Like About You" with Jennie Garth.
She then starred in the movie "She's The Man," playing a college girl who disguises herself as her twin brother so she can play on a men's soccer team. Channing Tatum portrayed her love interest. Bynes also played pig-tailed Penny Pingleton in the musical film "Hairspray."
In June 2010, she announced on Twitter she had quit acting. A month later, she said she had "unretired," just ahead of the release of her latest film, the comedy "Easy A." She played a conservative student named Marianne opposite main star Emma Stone.