Bo Bice's cousin said the drug arrests of Bice, an "American Idol" contestant, did not result in convictions and should not be held against him.
Police and court documents posted on a Web site Thursday showed Bice, 29, was arrested on drug-related charges in 2001 and 2003. The Web site also reported Bice completed a round of treatment at a drug diversion program.
Bice's lawyer and cousin David Worley confirmed the charges but said although the Helena resident was arrested, he has paid his price, and the charges were never convictions
... "He is not guilty, by law."
"American Idol" officials ... said they won't disqualify him.
"The information disclosed on various salacious gossip Web sites regarding Bo Bice's past was already well known to Fox and the producers of 'American Idol,' " said "American Idol" spokeswoman Alex Gallespie in a prepared statement. "From the beginning, Bo was honest and forthcoming in revealing his previous indiscretions and their outcome."
The cocaine and marijuana charges were merged, and Bice entered the Columbiana diversion program in 2003. ... The cocaine charge was dismissed in April 2004, and the marijuana charged was dismissed late 2004.
A drug diversion program is a decision made in drug court, which looks for alternative ways to address drug arrests
in an effort to prevent future drug use. A plea agreement is signed, and the rights to a trial are waived
. The defendant pleads guilty and agrees to be drug free for at least a year. Once the program is completed, the person is considered innocent
, according to Jefferson County Judge Pete Johnson.
In Jefferson County, Johnson determines these types of cases, although it is unclear as to whether he ruled in Bice's case.
Worley said that after the cocaine charges case was dismissed, Bice, 29, moved to Atlanta, where his parents lived. When he returned to Alabama, arrangements were made so he could attend a Columbiana treatment center near his Helena home, Worley said.
Worley said he isn't sure which diversion program Bice attended as he was not representing Bice at the time.
Some diversion programs are intense, while others require a person to go into the program for "a few nights," submit to drug tests, talk to probation officers and counselors and eventually work out a dismissal of the cases, he said.
But regardless, "he did successfully complete it, and he has no criminal record
," Worley said.