|Velvet Revolver singer Scott Weiland dodged a bullet on Thursday when a judge sentenced him to three years probation for his May drug arrest.
Weiland appeared in a Pasadena, California, courtroom on two felony possession charges and was sentenced to probation, which includes court-monitored individual and group counseling sessions, mandatory Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and random drug testing, according to a spokesperson for the Pasadena District Attorney's office.
The singer must also continue to attend a drug-rehabilitation program as a condition of his sentence. If he completes all the terms of his probation within the first year, the case could be dismissed. He faced up to a year in jail if convicted on the charges.
Weiland, 35, was arrested in Burbank, California, on May 18 on felony counts of possession of heroin and cocaine after police stopped his car for a routine traffic violation.
According to Velvet Revolver spokesperson Arlett Vereecke, "Scott is doing very well ... and is looking forward to making the Velvet Revolver album." Vereecke said Weiland will continue attending, and spending his nights in, a drug rehab facility as the band gears up to record its debut. Velvet Revolver also features ex-Guns N' Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum.
"He will be in rehab until he gets back on his feet," Vereecke added. "He doesn't want to take any chances and he wants to make sure he doesn't relapse."
The bandmembers are currently sorting through the 65 original songs they've written and are waiting for Weiland to finish lyrics on the tracks they plan to record when they enter a studio in the fall. The album is tentatively slated for a February release. A producer has not yet been picked for the project. And after negotiations with several labels, including Elektra and Warner Bros., the band is leaning toward signing with RCA, according to a source close to the group.
In the meantime, the group is not currently scheduled to play live prior to the album's completion in light of the heavy online bootlegging of the six songs it performed at Los Angeles' El Rey Theatre on June 19. Plans for a previously announced DVD/EP of that show's brief set have also been scrapped for now, Vereecke said, in favor of concentrating on the full-length album. That release was to feature a cover of Pink Floyd's "Money," recorded for "The Italian Job," as well as the original song "Set Me Free" from "The Hulk," and the new song, "Slither," recently recorded with producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd).