Busta Rhymes Pleads Guilty & Avoids Jail Time, Lawyer Explains Change Of Heart

ImageThree times a charm for rapper Busta Rhymes. The Flipmode Squad honcho twice rejected plea deals from the prosecution in assault and driving cases that would've put the performer away for a year. Instead, he walked away from Manhattan Criminal Court a free man this morning (Jan. 23).

Busta (born Trevor Smith) pled guilty to all counts, including two assault charges and a DUI, but he won't be doing any time. He'll serve three years probation for the two assault charges, concurrently. He'll only have to do a year behind bars if he violates his probation, according to TMZ.

Busta's attorney, Scott Leemon said that his client pled out "So he could put all the stuff from the last year and a half behind him and look at the future and not the past and get back to doing what everyone loves about him, entertaining."

The DUI will cost him a $750 fine and he'll also have to participate in a drunk driving program. For driving with a suspended license, the fourth charge, Bussa Bus will have to sit in the passenger's seat for six months, giving up his license.

The assault charges stemmed from two separate incidents. In 2006, Busta pounded 20-year-old fan Roberto Lebron after he spit on the rapper's car. That same year, he beat up his driver Eddie Hatchett in an argument over back pay.

Both victims in those cases were granted orders of protection from the rapper.

The prosecution had offered Bust a plea deal that would've covered all four charges with one year behind bars. Busta rejected that deal in May of 2007 and rejected the same deal, offered a second time, in July.

It wasn't the prosecution that changed its mind today.

"This was not a prosecutor's change," Leemon explained. "This was a decision made by the judge and what happened is that we had submitted a letter to the judge detailing why we believed probation appropriate and after reviewing that letter the judge made a court offer of probation."

He went on to say, "[Busta's] in good spirits and he's glad to finally put this behind him."