Saved by the Gun
Last weekend, any plans the big fella had of convincing a state bar to issue a law license in his name just became more complicated. Wallace, recently retired from the Detroit Pistons, and a former Chicago Bull and Cleveland Cavalier, was arrested in Bloomfield Township on Saturday night.
News reports have Wallace failing field sobriety tests and submitting to a breath test allegedly resulting in a .14 blood alcohol content. The legal limit in Michigan is .08; the year-old "SuperDrunk" threshold is .17.
An unloaded pistol allegedly was found in Wallace's Cadillac. This could actually help him out.
Apparently, Wallace's case was randomly assigned to 48th District Judge Kim Small; known for her harsh sentences for first time offenders of Michigan's drunk driving laws.
Drunk driving is a misdemeanor if a first offense; misdemeanors stay in the district courts where they originate. Carrying a concealed weapon, on the other hand, is a felony. Felonies are bound over for trial, or resolution via plea, at the county circuit court.
Judge Small was all over the national headlines this summer when she sentenced former NBA star, Jalen Rose, to nearly a month in the Oakland County Jail. Would Big Ben have received the same fate? We'll never know now.
Wallace will most likely plead guilty to both the felony and the misdemeanor and get probation rather than any jail time. Carrying the unlicensed pistol may have saved the big fella several weeks of sensory deprivation in the Oakland Hotel.
I was in the halls of the Oakland County Circuit Court on Tuesday when Big Ben was being sentenced by Judge Shalina Kumar. As predicted, he received probation.
Here's a post to an outstanding criminal law blog that captures the perspective of these local NBA stars' convictions from the national level.