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Young Hefner agrees to plea in domestic violence case

Over one month ago, celebrity businessman Hugh Hefner's adult son, Marston Hefner, was arrested for domestic violence. He was dating a Playmate of the Year, but their relationship allegedly ended violently and with Marston, 21, facing a toll on his future.

He was charged with battery on a spouse or cohabitant and vandalism. He got the vandalism charge dismissed by agreeing to pay for the damaged property. Based on a plea agreement, Marston could also wind up with the battery charge cleared from his record, but it has taken and will take some sacrifice on his side.

Sources report that Marston pleaded no contest to the domestic violence charge. That is a way to move on with sentencing without actually pleading guilty or not guilty. It moves the legal process along and is sometimes enough to please both the prosecution and the defense.

It is often tempting for defendants to plead not guilty and argue their case before court. But if an agreement feels fair and a defense attorney counsels responsibly, a no contest plea can be a healthy compromise. In Marston's case, if he had been convicted of the battery charge, he could have been sentenced to a year in prison. That is extreme in comparison to the sentencing he wound up with after his plea.

Marston has been required to attend a 52-week domestic violence program, go through further individual therapy and serve three years of probation during which he will be monitored through progress reports. During those three years, he is also prohibited from seeing his ex (the accuser in this case).

While a year behind bars might sound harsh in comparison to no jail at all, one should keep in mind that this is a 21-year-old man, and these sentencing conditions will be a large part of his life for the next few years. But if he puts in the work, the outcome would be worth it. He could get his plea and charge taken off of his criminal record.

Source: New York Daily News, "Hefner's son pleads not contest in Playboy Playmate attack," Nancy Dillon, March 20, 2012

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