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Will Mel Gibson go to jail?
Legal experts debate whether Oksana Grigorieva's claim that Gibson punched her during a domestic argument will hold up in court
Mel Gibson.
Mel Gibson.
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A

s the disturbing drama around Mel Gibson unfolds, legal experts and gossip hounds alike are beginning to ask whether the Hollywood star could wind up in jail. Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of Gibson's 8-month-old daughter, Lucia, has told police that the Oscar-winner punched her in the face during an argument, chipping her front teeth, according to Radar Online. Last week, the Los Angeles County Sheriff confirmed that in addition to investigating a domestic violence incident between Gibson and Grigorieva, it's now also investigating Gibson on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. Is Gibson likely to be convicted, and if so, would he go to jail? (Watch a press conference spoof)

No. If convicted, he'd likely face probation and counseling: If anything, Mel Gibson might be charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, not felony assault, says former L.A. prosecutor Jeffery Rubenstein in People. Gibson has no serious prior convictions, and "Oksana's alleged injuries don't seem to rise to a felony level." In a case like that, a conviction would most likely mean probation and counseling, not jail time.
"Could Mel Gibson go to jail?"

Yes, the courts might want to make an example of Gibson: Mel Gibson's high profile and less-than-shining reputation make him a "great target" for the District Attorney's office, says California lawyer Stephen Scherzer, as quoted at Fox News. If charged with felony assault, he could face up to four years in jail, but since he has no history of abuse, "his lawyers could broker a deal" and "perhaps spend 90 days in jail and then a probation period."
"Mel Gibson could serve four years if found guilty of felony assault"

The evidence against him might not be that strong: Forensic experts say the leaked tapes of Gibson's rants have been tampered with, says criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos, as quoted at Hollywood Life. If the judge agrees, "the tapes would be inadmissible and can’t be used against Mel." Prosecutors could still base their case on her testimony alone, but her credibility will already have a strike against it. And if the audio tapes were under court seal and Grigorieva is found to have leaked them, she could be the one in legal trouble.
"EXCLUSIVE! If judge agrees that Oksana’s tapes have been tampered with Mel could walk away scott free!"

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