Hollywood actor Ray Liotta has avoided a jail sentence after striking a deal with prosecutors over a car smash earlier this year.

The 52-year-old was initially charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he crashed into two parked cars in Los Angeles in February.

But Goodfellas actor Liotta pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of reckless driving in an LA court today.

He was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to attend a 12-hour alcohol education programme, as well as asked to cover the $1,328 (£654) worth of damage to the stationary cars.

The actor could have faced six months in jail if convicted of the more serious charge.

Liotta's attorney Blair Berk denied that his client had been under the influence of alcohol.

"Ray had some unexpected drowsiness from the interaction of some medications prescribed by his doctor," he said.

As well as a breakout performance in 1990's Goodfellas, Liotta has also starred in Field of Dreams and Cop Land.

From next week he can be heard at UK cinemas voicing a character modelled on himself in CGI animation Bee Movie.

07/12/2007 15:25:28