Will American Idol’s Laine Hardy Avoid Jail Time? The Latest On His Legal Troubles

Hardy has entered a pre-trail program in Louisiana.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

April 4, 2023

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Laine Hardy; Photo via YouTube, American Idol

Laine Hardy appears to be getting a fresh start after battling some legal troubles in the spring of 2022. At the time, he was arrested and accused of planting a listening device in his ex-girlfriend’s dorm room. The American Idol winner was then released from jail on the evening of April 29. 

Nearly a year later, Louisiana’s WAFB Channel 9 news reported that Hardy has entered a pre-trial program through the District Attorney’s Office with the goal of getting his previous charges wiped from his record. 

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore shared hopeful insight for the majority of those who choose to take advantage of the resources offered in the program. 

Record May Get Wiped Clean

Laine Hardy; Photo by David Bradley 1
Laine Hardy; Photo by David Bradley

“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.

The specifics of Hardy’s case are being held private, but it was revealed that he began the program at the beginning of March.

Arrested In Early 2022

A few months following his arrest, Hardy returned to social media and started to get back on track with his music career. Additionally, he announced that he had parted ways with his record label, which he acquired after he was crowned the Season 17 Idol winner in May of 2019. 

In a statement posted to his social media accounts, the singer/songwriter reflected on this new chapter of his career.

“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.”

New Music

In the last year, the Louisiana native has teased several unreleased songs with fans, including “That Man,” “Rope Swing,” and “Me Meeting You.” However, his last official music drop came in 2021 with his debut album, Here’s to Anyone

As part of his fresh start, Hardy had the chance to return to the place that started it all – American Idol. With the new season underway, he paid a visit to judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie alongside fellow Idol alum, Laci Kaye Booth. 

The episode included a recap of their journey on the singing competition show and how much this experience has impacted their music careers. 

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“All you had to do was come on this little oval, and your whole dang life has changed, right?” Perry asked Hardy. 

“Completely,” he responded. 

The country stars also got the chance to meet and connect with the current round of hopeful contestants. Some of these artists even expressed how much Hardy and Booth have inspired them to pursue their dreams. 

“If I had never heard Laine sing, I probably wouldn’t be here right now. I never saw anything like that,” one contestant said of Hardy’s influence.  

Laci Kaye Booth, Laine Hardy; Photo by ABC, American Idol
Laci Kaye Booth, Laine Hardy; Photo by ABC, American Idol

“It’s a reminder even to these new contestants, that life is too short to not go for your dreams,” Perry added. 

With the audition process wrapped up on this season of Idol, the contestants who were lucky enough to earn either a golden or a platinum ticket have made their way to Hollywood to being the next steps of their journeys. Catch all the budding talent of American Idol on ABC.

As for Laine Hardy, he continues to connect with his audience on social media, but he currently has no upcoming tour dates on the books. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.