Rodney King has been charged with driving under the influence stemming from an arrest in Southern California last month.
District attorney spokesman John Hall said King was charged with two misdemeanour counts alleging he was driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana and that his blood-alcohol level was higher than the legal limit when he was pulled over in Riverside County's Moreno Valley.
If convicted, King faces up to a year in jail because of a prior DUI conviction in San Bernardino County.
Mr Hall said he did not know if King had retained an attorney. He is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow.
King was beaten by four white officers in 1991. A year later they were acquitted of federal charges, sparking days of rioting that killed 55 people and caused widespread damage.