Bieber Car Chase Lawyer Battles Anti-Paparazzi Legislation

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The law targeting aggressive celebrity-harassment techniques and strategies is being challenged by a photographer who was earlier charged with dangerously and recklessly hounding Justin Bieber for photos, said his lawyer.

David S. Kestenbaum, attorney, filed documents requesting a judge to declare as unconstitutional the 2010 California statute which penalizes those who drive recklessly to take photographs intended for commercial use.

Kestenbaum argues in his 17-page motion that Paul Raef, his client, was charged with a law that is too broad and violates his First Amendment protection for the press.

Paparazzo Raef got charged in July with four counts of misdemeanour activity after a high-speed pursuit of the Canadian pop-star on a Los Angeles freeway.  The photographer is the first to be charged under the new law.

According to Kestenbaum, the motion filed challenges the law in a constitutional manner; the law is not specific enough and does not properly define “a photo taken for commercial purposes”.

“First and foremost, the statute unconstitutionally singles out the press for a special penalty,” according to the motion.

A hearing is scheduled for September 24, when a judge will hear the motion.  At the present time, Raef has not yet entered any plea in his case.

The photographer has other charges against him, including reckless driving and following other vehicles too closely.  According to prosecutors, Raef chased Bieber at speeds of over 80 miles per hour and other drivers on the freeway had to swerve to avoid collisions while the paparazzo attempted to take photos of the celebrity singer.