Actress Reese Witherspoon has escaped with a fine after pleading no contest to a charge of disorderly conduct relating to her recent arrest in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Legally Blonde star was slapped with the count on 19 April (13) after becoming embroiled in an argument with a police officer who had pulled over her husband, Jim Toth, for driving under the influence (Dui).

Her lawyer, Bruce Morris, entered the plea on his client's behalf on Thursday (02May13) and Witherspoon was ordered to pay a fine of $213 (£133) to settle the case.

Meanwhile, talent agent Toth was spared jail time after appearing in person to plead guilty to the Dui charge. He was sentenced to 40 hours of community service and ordered to complete an alcohol education programme, while he was also placed on 12 months' probation, reports

Handing down the sentence, the judge told him: "Consider yourself fortunate you didn't injure your passenger (Witherspoon) and didn't kill anyone."

The hearing occurred just hours after Witherspoon appeared on U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America in New York on Thursday to promote her new film Mud and addressed the "elephant in the room", insisting she and her husband deeply regretted their bad behaviour.

She also confessed to lying to the arresting officer, telling him she was pregnant in a desperate bid to get out of the legal trouble.

She said, "It was one of those nights, we went out to dinner in Atlanta and we had one too many glasses of wine. We thought we were fine to drive and we absolutely were not... I had no idea what I was saying that night.

"I saw him (police officer) arresting my husband and I literally panicked. I said all kinds of crazy things. I told him I was pregnant. I'm not pregnant. I said crazy things. I have no idea what I was talking about... I was so disrespectful to him."