Pistons C Wallace pleads guilty in alcohol case
PONTIAC, Mich. – Prosecutors on Tuesday dropped a felony gun charge against Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of drunken driving and possessing a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.
Wallace had no prior record and was cooperative with police when his Cadillac Escalade was stopped Sept. 24 in Oakland County's Bloomfield Township, assistant prosecutor Robert Novy said in explaining the reasons for the plea deal.
A breath test showed Wallace's blood-alcohol level was 0.14 percent, above Michigan's legal limit of 0.08 percent. Police found an unloaded pistol registered to his wife in a backpack.
"He's certainly not happy he got himself in that situation," defense attorney Steve Fishman said outside court.
Wallace was accused of carrying a concealed weapon but the charge was dropped. He didn't speak in court except to acknowledge his fault in the incident.
"Had you had too much to drink?" Fishman asked.
"Yes," Wallace replied.
The maximum penalty is 93 days in jail, but Fishman expects probation and community service, perhaps basketball camps for poor kids in Pontiac, when Wallace returns to Judge Shalina Kumar's court on Dec. 13.
"I can't imagine Judge Kumar would send him to jail. ... The police treated him fairly. The prosecutor treated him fairly. We're confident the judge will treat him fairly," Fishman told reporters.
Wallace left court without commenting. He has played for five NBA teams since 1996.