Anthony Michael Hall, star of "The Breakfast Club," "Weird Science" and "Sixteen Candles" among other projects, has pled no contest to a misdemeanor assault charge. He had been facing a felony charge of battery for an altercation in which his neighbor sustained a broken wrist and a back injury.
Hall's conviction is for assault with force likely to produce great bodily harm. He was sentenced to three years' probation and 40 hours of community service, according to the LA Times.
The incident took place at Hall's condominium complex in Playa del Rey, California, on Sept. 13 of last year. The neighbor allegedly left a gate open and an argument became physical. The neighbor was apparently injured when Hall shoved the man to the ground. The incident was reportedly captured on videotape.
The neighbor obtained a temporary restraining order after the incident but did not move to make that order into a permanent injunction. He alleges that he and Hall have had several other run-ins at the condominium complex.
The 48-year-old actor was facing up to seven years in prison if he had been convicted on the felony assault charge.
When a celebrity becomes involved with the criminal justice system, it's often a surprise -- especially when it seems to go against type. Hall, a member of the so-called "Brat Pack," was often cast as a physically inept geek, although his physique and casting type changed as he grew older.
We often feel like we know celebrities personally, but the reality is we know very little about their lives. We certainly don't know enough to determine whether they're guilty or innocent -- no one does. In the absence of a plea bargain such as we saw in this case, a judge or jury must be given the chance to make that determination.
If you find yourself accused of a crime, you owe it to yourself to contact an experienced lawyer right away. Don't assume you should plead guilty, and don't assume the police and prosecutor are hoping to give you a break. The right representation can make all the difference.