His attorney, Amanda Bevins, entered the plea to two counts related to a May 2022 DUI arrest. Paul Pelosi did not attend the arraignment, according to reporters on the scene.
Amy McLeod, a deputy district attorney in California’s Napa County, was in court for the prosecution, those reporters said.
Paul Pelosi, 82, will remain free on his own recognizance after the arraignment. He is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 23 at 9 a.m. local time.
A press release issued by the Napa County District Attorney’s office said Pelosi, a longtime businessman worth millions of dollars, allegedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.082 percent—over the legal limit in California—after he crashed his late-model Porsche. The blood sample, the DA’s office said, was obtained two hours after the collision hours later.
“Based upon the extent of the injuries suffered by the victim, the District Attorney filed misdemeanor charges. This decision is consistent with how our office handles these cases with similar injuries,” the office said in a statement in June.
Weeks before that, the California Highway Patrol said Pelosi was involved in a collision with a Jeep in Napa County. At the time, Speaker Pelosi was not with him, and a spokesperson for her office declined to comment on the matter while saying that the congresswoman was attending an event in Rhode Island that same day.
Under state law, Pelosi could face a short stint in jail and several years probation, according to the DA office’s news release.
“The punishment for driving under the influence causing injury as a misdemeanor is set by California law. It includes up to five years of probation, a minimum of five days in jail, installation of an ignition interlock device, fines and fees, completion of a court-ordered drinking driver class, and other terms as appropriate,” the DA’s office said.
After his arrest, Pelosi was released on $5,000 bail.
His plea comes just a day after Speaker Pelosi visited Taiwan amid bombastic threats from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)—the first time a House speaker has done so since 1997. She left the self-governing island nation on Wednesday.
A spokesman for Paul Pelosi previously said that reports about the DUI arrest were erroneous but offered few details why.
“Mr. Pelosi was attending a dinner party at the home of friends near Oakville,” Larry Kramer, the spokesman, told Fox News several days after the alleged incident. “He left that party at 10:15 p.m. Saturday, to drive to his home a short distance away. He was alone in his car,” he said.
And he added, “Mr. Pelosi was fully cooperative with California Highway Patrol officers who arrived a few minutes later.”
A “prior driving offense erroneously attributed to Mr. Pelosi is untrue and likely refers to an unrelated person with the same name. This error must be corrected,” Kramer told the Daily Beast, without elaborating. “There are also incorrect reports that misstate the timing of events.”