The singer's lawyer appears on his behalf to face charges of being unfit to drive and possessing marijuana

By Monique Jessen
January 10, 2007 02:55 PM

George Michael pleaded not guilty to charges of being unfit to drive and possessing marijuana on Wednesday in a London courtroom.

The singer did not attend the hearing but his lawyer, Keima Payton, made an appearance on his behalf, a court spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE.

Michael, 43 (real name: George Panayiotou), was arrested last Oct. 1 after other drivers complained to police that he was blocking an intersection.

Michael reportedly was found slumped in his car. At the time he was cautioned and taken to the hospital, though it was not until just before Christmas that he was officially charged with the driving offense.

The previous February, Michael had also been arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs after he was found slumped over the wheel of his car near London’s Hyde Park. In April 2006, George damaged three neighbors’ cars and his own Range Rover. He later called the incidents his “own stupid fault.”

A spokesperson for Brent Magistrates Court confirmed that the case will resume on March 7, with a trial date set for April. 23, at which time Michael will be forced to appear.