Gabriel Aubry has a welcome opening in his schedule Thursday.
Halle Berry's ex was scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow on one count of misdemeanor battery stemming from his Thanksgiving brawl with Berry's current fiance, Olivier Martinez, but his court date has been canceled, E! News has confirmed.
Instead, both he and Martinez will be summoned to an office hearing, according to Los Angeles City Attorney's Office spokesman Frank Mateljan.
They have "decided to schedule a City Attorney's Office hearing in this matter," Mateljan says. "We are in the process of contacting the parties to set up that hearing. Mr. Aubrey's counsel has been informed that tomorrow's court date will be vacated."
So, this sounds like a good thing as far as Aubry's rap sheet is concerned, right?
"Any time you get an office hearing in lieu of charges, it is a gift," criminal defense attorney Troy Slaten, who does not represent either Aubry or Martinez, tells E! News.
The proposed meeting generally involves a hearing officer representing the city of Los Angeles attempting to mediate the dispute in order to avoid a judicial proceeding (aka a court case), explains Slaten.
"A hearing officer could then make a recommendation...on whether or not any charges should be filed against either of the parties or if the matter could be handled informally," he says.
Aubry and Martinez would almost certainly attend with attorneys in tow, Slaten adds, because "anything they say could be held against them" should prosecutors wind up pressing charges anyway.
That does seem unlikely, especially now that Berry and Aubry have seemingly resolved their differences once again and respective orders of protection--one that Aubry filed against Martinez and one put in place following the fight that kept Aubry from being near Berry and their daughter, Nahla--have been dropped.
In his petition for a temporary restraining order, Aubry had accused Martinez of threatening to kill him if he got in the way of Berry moving to Martinez's native France with Nahla. Aubry was photographed after the reported altercation with visible bruises on his face, while Martinez sported a brace on his hand.
"Usually, in a mutual combat situation, neither party is charged with a crime," Slaten says. "And the hearing officer could recommend anger management or other types of things... like a parenting class, counseling or anger-management class to prevent charges being filed. It's a pretty strong encouragement to follow the recommendation or you could face criminal charges."