Justin Bieber may be well on his way to earning the street cred he so desperately craves -- this time in the form of a potential criminal case.

Sheriff's investigators are extremely eager to prosecute the Canadian wunderkind for hocking a loogey on a neighbor, and now Biebs' possible criminal record is in the hands of the Los Angeles County District Attorney.

TMZ reports that the sheriff's team is urging the D.A. to bring Bieber to justice, sending its investigation file to the district attorney's office yesterday (May 7).

The sheriff's office is insisting that Bieber be charged with battery for spitting on and threatening to kill a neighbor who dared to complain that he was driving too fast in their residential neighborhood.

The police, however, don't think Bieber should do time or anything drastic, nor are they singling him out because he's a celeb, insisting that they'd recommend similar action be taken for a peon. They just want him to get counseling before his increasingly bad behavior escalates to something worse.

Sources say authorities are worried that Bieber's misbehaving will lead him to "get his ass kicked" or wind up with someone getting "a $2 million payday."

Bad news for the $2 million payee: You'll have to deal with more than 2 million Beliebers harassing you once you nab it. Have you seen those girls in action? You'd need to use part of the settlement just for bodyguards.

Not. Worth it.