Actor Emile Hirsch has been sentenced to spend 15 days in jail for attacking a female producer in a nightclub during this year’s edition of the Sundance Festival in January. He will also have to pay $4,750 in fines and provide 50 hours of community service, but those seem to be the least of his worries.
Hirsch was actually facing a much harsher sentence, because of the severity of his act. He put his hands around the neck of Insurge Pictures producer Daniele Bernfeld and began choking her, dragged her across a table and then body-slammed her onto the flood and continued to keep her into a choke hold until two people managed to get him off of her.
He was supposed to get up to five years of jail time for his horrendous act, but it seems that his plead deal with the authorities proved to make a difference. The actor admitted full guilt for his act and said that it was absolutely inexcusable, during his appearance in court from this Monday.
He also told the judge that he was so heavily intoxicated at that moment, as he had had a lot to drink that night, and that he cannot actually remember what he did. Therefore, he was unable to recall what drove him to become so violent, but he said that he had never done anything like that beforehand.
The judge considered his apology to be genuine and took into consideration the fact that Hirsch enrolled himself voluntarily into an rehabilitation program only a few days after the event and has remained completely sober up to present date. Furthermore, the actor has no legal history of violent behavior.
All of these factors have contributed to the court’s decision to charge Hirsch with a misdemeanor and to sentence him to 15 days in jail only, because he is not a true danger for society at the moment. Since he has shown all the intentions to work on his substance abuse issues, the judge considered that he should be allowed to do so under parole.
However, in the event that he breaks his parole and is found to be intoxicated under any circumstance, the actor faces one long year in jail.
Daniele Bernfeld feels that the court was too soft on Emile Hirsch and that he should have gotten a sentence that could reflect the full extent of his deeds.
Robert Hilder, who is currently a Summit County Attorney and who used to be a judge attempted to defend the court’s decision in this case by pointing out that the 15 days that Hirsch will spend in Summit County Jail will be more than enough of a wake-up call for him, because going to jail is an immensely harsh experience for anyone, even if it is for what seems to be a short period of time from the exterior.
Furthermore, his parole process will ensure that he remains on the right track, as his honest desire for redemption and self-improvement has been the only reason why he got such a light sentence.
If at any point he proves either unwilling or unable to continue with his rehabilitation process, he will be immediately sent to jail for a much longer period of time.
It remains to be seen if the actor will manage to meet the requirements of his parole. Hopefully, Robert Hilder is right and the 15 days in jail will prove to be more than enough to make the actor realize the severity of his actions.
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