Detroit Pistons' center Ben Wallace could be sentenced to three months in jail after he entered a guilty plea earlier this month for driving while intoxicated and possessing a firearm under the influence of alcohol.
According to a recent news report, Wallace was charged with the DWI after Bloomfield Township police stopped him at about 3 a.m. one morning in late September for driving erratically.
Wallace told police that he had been out at a club, where he consumed four beers. A breathalyzer test allegedly revealed that he was over the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Police also found an unloaded handgun when they conducted a search of his car during the stop. Wallace reportedly told police that the gun belonged to his wife, and that he was not aware it was in the car.
Though the news article does not provide information on Wallace's representation, it is likely that he is working with an attorney on this case.
As a former prosecutor, I believe that people accused of drunk driving should not enter into plea agreements without talking to a lawyer. Michigan laws regarding DWI/DUI offenses are constantly changing and it is critical to enlist a knowledgeable ally to ensure that you understand your options and know that your rights are properly protected.
There is much to consider when deciding whether a plea agreement is the best choice for you. It is sometimes possible to have charges dropped entirely. This may be the case if, for example, the police did not have probable cause to pull you over.
In other situations, it is possible to have DUI/DWI charges reduced to driving while visibly impaired.
According to the news article, Wallace pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges. He will be sentenced in December and faces a maximum of 93 days in jail.
Source: ClickOnDetroit.com, "Piston Ben Wallace Pleads Guilty In Alcohol Case," Nov. 2, 2011.