‘American Idol’ Winner Laine Hardy To Avoid Jail Time, But Will His Criminal Record Be Wiped Clean?

Laine Hardy began the pre-trial diversion program in March 2023, and the course is expected to take a minimum of six months to a year to finish.


Melinda Lorge


Posted on April 5, 2023

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Laine Hardy; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

Laine Hardy could clear his name from his arrest record without having to undergo any more jail time, according to The Advocate.

In early 2022, the 22-year-old Louisiana native and Season 17 American Idol winner was accused of secretly bugging his ex-girlfriend’s dorm room. He was arrested after Louisiana State University (LSU) Police retrieved evidence from a woman that a listening device was hidden under a futon inside her Azalea Hall dorm room.

Arrested For Secretly Recording His Ex-Girlfriend

The device, which looks like a phone charger, according to arrest records, picked up at least two secret audio recordings of private conversations between Hardy’s ex-girlfriend and her roommate.

Hardy was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on suspicion of planting the device and was released from jail on his own recognizance on Friday (April 29, 2022), WAFB.com reports.

Laine Hardy; Photo Courtesy of ABC
Laine Hardy; Photo Courtesy of ABC

Will Laine Hardy’s Criminal Record Be Wiped Clean?

Instead of potentially having to spend time behind bars, Hardy now has the option of completing a program for nonviolent offenders. The only caveat is he has to do so successfully. That means, after completing the course, he will have to petition the court to have the arrest removed from his criminal record, according to the DA.

Hardy has already entered a pre-trial diversion program through the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office in hopes to have his charges dropped from the East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana. Charges will be dismissed if he completes certain aspects of the course successfully.

At this point, Hardy’s case specifications are being held private. But some of the program tasks have included committing to a number of community service hours, completing anger management courses, and more.

The singer began the pre-trial diversion program in March of 2023, and the course is expected to take a minimum of six months to a year to finish.

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Enrolled Into Second Chance Program

Even though Hardy has opted into the program in hopes to avoid jail time, East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore says anyone is welcome to take advantage of the course if they wish.

“Anyone that is available for this program, we’re going to consider. I don’t care who you are or what you are. I mean, we have to be fair to everyone, regardless of their position in life, and that’s what we try to do,” he explained.

As for Hardy’s case, Moore says, “We just felt that under the circumstances, and after consultation with the victim, that this was the best alternative to a very poor decision on his part.”

Through battling legal troubles, Hardy has continued to stay fresh on social media, adding posts and updates when he can. Most recently, he shared a birthday message to his grandfather on Instagram in a post dated Feb. 5.

Before that, he took to Instagram with various mini-performance videos.

Months After His Arrest He Departed From His Longtime Record Label

In October of 2022, just a few months after his arrest, Hardy announced he was parting ways with his Disney Music Group record label as well as 19 Entertainment. Taking a moment to reflect on the journey he has gotten to experience in music, he captioned a message of gratitude to the people that he worked with while admitting he had some growth to do.

“I was just 17 years old when I first tried out for American Idol, and at the time, I couldn’t have ever imagined where I was headed. Since then, I’ve been able to tour across America, play for our Troops in Asia, and make new fans in Europe. I had to grow up quickly, and I am still learning more about myself every day,” he wrote. “The teams at 19 Entertainment and Disney Music Group have given me so much support and guidance, and I will forever be grateful. And, now it’s time for me to take my career in a new direction, and I am figuring that out. Stay tuned for what’s coming next.”

As previously shared, Hardy claimed victory on Season 17 of American Idol, following a brief stint on the previous season, where he made it to the Top 50.

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