Amanda Bynes on 5150 Hold After Alleged Driveway Fire

By Brett Snider, Esq. on July 23, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Former "All That" star and current headline-grabber Amanda Bynes was hospitalized on a 5150 hold Monday after she allegedly set fire to an elderly woman's driveway.

Law enforcement responded to reports of a fire outside a home in Thousand Oaks, California, and allegedly found Bynes standing near the urban campfire while holding a "little red gas tank," reports TMZ.

What is a 5150 hold, and what are Bynes' chances of going to jail over her alleged firestarting?

Have Gas Tank, Will Travel

A 911 caller who reported the fire noticed that the "Amanda Show" star had placed a "flaming cloth" on top of a gas tank on a neighbor's driveway, something that the caller reasonably viewed as a potential explosion risk, reports TMZ.

Although this would hardly be the first time that Bynes has tangled with police, this incident was enough to have officers worry about her mental health.

When sheriff's deputies arrived and sparked up a conversation with Bynes about her confined concrete conflagration, her answers led them to place her under a 5150 hold, reports TMZ.

5150 Holds and You

Police and courts often use the term "5150 hold," which refers to a California code section. It allows any person to be hospitalized for 72 hours for "evaluation" when she is judged to be a danger to herself or others as a result of a possible mental condition.

Similar to an arrest, officers do need to have at least probable cause that such a person is a danger before taking her to a hospital for evaluation.

It seems likely that setting fires in strangers' yards with no decent explanation is probable cause enough that something wasn't quite right with the former child star.

72 Hours Later...

Like the valiant Britney Spears in 2008, once Amanda Bynes finishes her 72-hour evaluation period in the hospital, she should be free to leave unless:

  • Her mental condition still makes her a danger to herself and others, or
  • Her mental condition has left her "gravely disabled."

If either is the case, Bynes can be certified for 14 more days of intensive treatment under what is called a "5250 hold."

When Bynes is eventually released, parents or family members may attempt to seek conservatorship over her, and these incidents will certainly help their case.

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