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Michael Phelps Pleads Guilty to DUI Charge

Michael Phelps Pleads Guilty to DUI Charge

Bummer for Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps, who plead guilty to his September 30th DUI charge.  Baltimore Judge Nathan Braverman placed Phelps on 18 month of probation, telling the star athlete that success overcoming alcohol misuse would not come overnight and that if he violated the terms of probation, “… the only option is jail.”  That is one year of jail if Phelps slips up again.

Phelps will also be subjected to random drug and alcohol testing by his probation officer and will be required to attend self-help group meetings.

Police reported on September 30th that Phelps was pulled over for speeding at rates of 84 mph in a 45 mph zone.  During the DUI investigation, police smelled odors  of alcohol coming from Phelps’ car and breath.  They noted, “mush-mouthed” speech and observed bloodshot watery eyes.  Phelps registered a .14 BAC level, nearly twice the Baltimore legal BAC limit of .08.

The 18 time gold medalist told Judge Braverman, “I now have the tools to move past this.  What I did was wrong, and I made a big mistake.  I’m looking forward to having a much brighter future than I  had in the past.”

As far as Michael Phelps’ swimming career, he is back to intensive training.  The 6 month USA Swimming suspension, imposed because of the September DUI arrest, will be lifted in March 2015 allowing Phelps to compete in the final three events on the U.S. Grand Prix schedule.

DUI Follow Up – Lamar Odom Pleads “No Contest”

DUI Follow Up – Lamar Odom Pleads “No Contest”

Apparently, L.A. prosecutors and judges are “Lammy” fans because they gave the 6’10” pro basketball player a decent deal for his DUI (driving under the influence) charge he acquired back in August.  The deal – Lamar Odom  plead “no contest”, aka “guilty”, to the DUI charge today in court and in return he was sentenced to 3 years of probation, required completion of a three-month alcohol education class, and ordered to pay $1,800.00 in court costs and penalties.  “Nolo contendere” is a legal term that comes from the Latin for “I do not wish to contend.” It is also referred to as a plea of of no contest. In criminal trials in certain U.S. jurisdictions, it is a plea where the defendant neither admits nor disputes a charge, serving as an alternative to a pleading of guilty.  A no-contest plea, while not technically a guilty plea, has the same immediate effect as a guilty plea, and is often offered as a part of a plea bargain.

What does this mean for 34-year-old Lamar?  For starters, Lamar will have a DUI on his criminal record.   No vacations to Canada for Lamar!  FYI – Canada does not allow individuals convicted of a DUI into their country for 10 years.  Secondly, Lamar will have to keep his hands clean for three long years while on probation.  If Lamar is convicted of any new criminal charge  or caught consuming any amount of alcohol while on probation, Lammy will be in violation of his probation and will have enhanced criminal punishments.   Thirdly, Odom must complete the three-month alcohol education class by June 9th 2014.  These classes take up time and money, but Lamar has plenty of both, so completing this class shouldn’t be an issue, maybe he will even learn something while there.  If he fails to complete the class by June 9th, Lamar will have to return to court for violating court orders.  And lastly, Lamar will need to pay $1,800.00 to the court system for fees and penalties which is pocket change to the millionaire pro athlete, who unlike most athletes saved the majority of his millions.

How is this a deal for Odom?  By taking this deal, Lamar avoids having to go to trial.  Generally, when an individual decides to take their case to trial they are subjected to increased consequences if they are found guilty.   Preparation for trial can be lengthy and can continue a case for months, by taking the deal, the case is done and over.  Lamar also avoids any time behind bars.

Good luck Lammy, you have a long three-years ahead of you.  Your best chances to avoid probation violations are to stay out of the lime light, use your long legs to run from paparazzi, and no more drunk driving.

Want to know more about Lamar Odom’s August 2013 DUI arrest, read my previous blog, Lamar Odom Faces Alcohol and Drug DUI Charge.

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Written by S.O