The paparazzi photographer that pursued Justin Bieber on an aggressive car chase along an L.A. Freeway earlier this month may find himself falling foul of a new law which is yet to have been used. Paul Raef, 30, has been charged with four misdemeanour offences as a result of the incident, which took place on July 6, 2012. One of those misdemeanour charges is "reckless driving with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain."
The new law, despite being enacted almost two years ago, has never been used. The police are confident that they will be able to pin the charge on Raef. The city attorney spokesman, Frank Mateljan stated that the photographer's case "meets all the criteria spelled out in the law," Bbc News reports. However, Douglas Mirell disagrees. Mirell is a leading First Amendment lawyer and argues that the law does not treat all people equally, as it focuses on professional photographers. "A fan doing the same thing, trying to get a glimpse of Bieber or taking a photo for their personal photo album might be engaged in the same egregious conduct" he explains. "But it would fall outside the statute because they were not doing it for a commercial purpose."
As well as the aforementioned charge. Raef also faces charges of reckless driving, failure to obey an officer and following another vehicle too closely. He faces up to a year in jail and / or a fine of up to $3,500