PONTIAC (WWJ/AP) – Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and possessing a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.
Wallace entered the plea Tuesday in Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop a felony carrying a concealed weapon charge.
The prosecution noted Wallace’s lack of a prior record and his cooperation with police.
Speaking to reporters at the courthouse, Wallace’s attorney Steve Fishman said his client wasn’t provided special treatment because he is a professional athlete.
“I think Mr. [Robert] Novy, who was the prosecutor on the case and Prosecutor [Jessica] Cooper, I think they looked at the case and saw what they had,” said Fishman. “He [Wallace] was cooperative throughout from the moment of his arrest, and I think they made the right decision to do that they did.”
Police in Oakland County’s Bloomfield Township said the 37-year-old Wallace was arrested during a traffic stop about 3 a.m. Sept. 24 after officers observed a Cadillac Escalade being driven erratically. Police said they found an unloaded pistol registered to Wallace’s wife in a backpack.
A breath test showed Wallace had a blood-alcohol level of 0.14 percent. The legal limit in Michigan is 0.08 percent.
“He’s certainly not happy he got himself in that situation,” Fishman said.
The maximum penalty is 93 days, but Wallace is not expected to see jail time at his December 13 sentencing on the two misdemeanors.
Fishman expects probation and community service, perhaps basketball camps for poor kids in Pontiac.
Wallace left court without commenting. He has played for five NBA teams since 1996.
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