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Nicole Richie defense is granted a delay

A continuance has been granted in Nicole Richie's driving under the influence case.

Superior Court Commissioner Steven K. Lubell on Tuesday set a new date of July 11 at the request of a defense attorney.

That means the trial could start on that date or within the following 10 days, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for prosecutors.

Richie, the 25-year-old daughter of pop singer Lionel Richie, was arrested Dec. 11. She pleaded not guilty in February to misdemeanor driving under the influence.

In addition to the single count, the case contains an allegation that Richie had a prior misdemeanor DUI conviction in June 2003.

The California vehicle code says if convicted of DUI twice within 10 years, a person can be sentenced to between 90 days and a year in jail and have his or her driving privileges suspended.

Her publicist didn't respond Tuesday to an e-mail seeking comment.

Richie stars in "The Simple Life" reality show on Comcast Corp.'s E! Entertainment Television with Paris Hilton, who is serving a 45-day sentence for violating her probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case.

Earlier this month, Richie told CBS "Late Show" host David Letterman that she is worried about landing in jail, but is "willing to face whatever consequences come my way, and I take responsibility for what I've done."

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