Tiote received a seven-month suspended sentence on Monday at Newcastle Crown Court, having admitted to buying a fake Belgian driving licence for 15,000 euros, which he then tried to swap for a full UK licence.
Judge James Goss QC said that Tiote's decision to plead guilty persuaded him to suspend the sentence for 18 months and order the 27-year-old Ivorian to complete 180 hours of unpaid work.
And Pardew says his current captain found himself caught out by a clash of cultures.
"There are times when international players come abroad and don't actually understand the rules," he said.
"We try to help them and try to push them in the right manner, the right way, and we'll just make sure he gets the right advice going forward.
"I think it was a misunderstanding."
Tiote's form has been unaffected by the case and he will lead Newcastle on Wednesday when they play host to Manchester City in the Carling Cup.
"I'm relieved because he's our captain and he's playing the best football he's played for about 12-14 months," Pardew added.
"He's been terrific in the last three games and he will captain the team on Wednesday night."