Over the last three months, Justin Bieber has been arrested twice and had his home searched once, all as a part of unrelated investigations. At first glance, that makes the teen sensation sound like a hardcore criminal. The truth, however, is a whole lot more amateurish. The search was for allegedly egging his neighbor’s house, and the two arrests were for driving under the influence of weed and allegedly slapping a limo driver in the head for refusing to turn the music up. None of that is exactly gangster shit, but unfortunately for the Biebs, these low-level offenses could wind up being a very big deal.

On Friday, the singer and his entourage were delayed at the airport in New Jersey for more than five hours. Why? Because, according to TMZ, as a man with two pending criminal investigations, his plane was flagged upon entry from Canada. The more legal problems one has, even if they’re minor, the more scrutiny an individual is subjected to when it comes to entering and leaving various countries. For a singer who performs all over the world, that’s a huge problem too. Snoop Dogg, for example, can’t enter Norway.

Beyond the potential touring problem, all of these little slaps on the wrist will also make all interactions with future judges that much worse. Think about Chris Brown. Every single time he gets in a fender bender, there’s talk about revoking his probation. Every time he goes in front of a judge, he finds himself in the repeat offender category, and that makes a full-on acquittal or an agreement with prosecutors to drop charges that much more unlikely.

I’m not saying Bieber doesn’t deserve to find himself in the predicament he’s in. He’s clearly made some terrible decisions lately, but for the sake of his future, it’s really important he start thinking about the long-term ramifications of his actions. He’s not a minor anymore. At this point, the general public is completely unwilling to give him the benefit of the doubt, and before long, the court system is likely going to feel the same way.

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