Hannibal Burress just skated on criminal charges for disorderly intoxication, and his celebrity power played a role in prosecutors dropping the case.
According to State Attorney documents obtained by The Blast, the comedian’s misdemeanor disorderly intoxication charge, after arguing with a police officer in Miami last December, was dropped.
Officials say Burress’ “red bloodshot eyes” and “strong odor of alcohol emitting from his breath” was enough evidence to support the fact he was drunk … however they couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he caused any danger or disturbance to the public.
Prosecutors noted that Burress is a “famous comedian,” and claim it was impossible to tell whether the crowd that gathered during his confrontation with the police officer was due to his “aggressive behavior” or the fact his “celebrity status could have drawn the crowd.” Due to the lack of evidence, they had to dismiss the case.
Burress’ attorney, Brian Bieber (no relation), tells us he also chalks up the dismissal to the 1st Amendment because “In Florida, it’s protected First Amendment speech to ask a police officer to call you an Uber.” He also commends the prosecution on their decision.
Bieber tells us he spoke with Hannibal right after Thursday’s hearing and the comedian was “pleased.”